By Stu Mayhew
Saturday, 22 June 2013
Today was the start of the Greenwich Fair , accompanied this year by the Island Fair. A chance to immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of performers from around the world. I had planned to follow the timetable in my GDIF schedule but after about 5 minutes you cant help but go with the flow and follow your eyes and ears. Talking of eyes the first thing I encountered were 2 strange and inquisitive creatures called Orbilys giving an interview to a bemused but highly entertained reporter in the grounds of the ORNC. As a photographer one of the best parts about events like this is watching the reactions of the general public, you get some great shots when people let their guard down and start enjoying themselves.
In Monument Gardens four dancers from Motionhouse were performing ‘Captive‘ inside a large steel cage. The grace and strength that the performers displayed was amazing and drew a rapturous reception from the large crowd gathered around them.
From here I wandered out to the Cutty Sark where the Magmanus Company were practising for their circus skills based show while the majority of the crowd had gathered to watch ‘Growth‘. This show was funny with elements of slap-stick which had children in the audience howling with laughter. This performance included turf , rope , spray paint an exploding water feature and lots of audience participation!
I took a quick trip under the Thames via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to see what the Island Fair , in Island gardens had in store. First up was a very energetic and intriguing performance of Something to Hold by Pif-Paf, which was a beautiful tale performed on some amazing aerial equipment. The river and Naval College in the distance made a fabulous backdrop.
Next up was the surprise of the day for me, The Wonderful World Of Mr E. I nearly didn’t stay to watch but was drawn in by some strange goings on in a little caravan. The 3 performers from the Dizzy O’Dare company were fantastic and were great with the crowd who were happy to let Mr E into their imagination even though this led to to the appearance of a huge octopus which we bravely managed to imagine away!
Luckily , apart from a couple of brief showers , the weather remained dry and the only problem facing the very large crowds was what to go and see next ! I spent 7 hours there and still didn’t get to see everything but was lucky to meet and photograph some amazing people.
Next up is the One Million spectacular in Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Cant wait!!!
Full daily Festival programme here.