New shows for 2017 supported by Without Walls

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival is a proud member of Without Walls, a consortium of leading arts organisations and festivals dedicated to the development of the UK’s outdoor arts sector.

BLOCK by Motionhouse Dance and NoFit State Circus – a Without Walls show from 2016

We are delighted to share with you details of the new shows supported by Without Walls for nationwide touring in 2017. Several of these companies will be performing at this summer’s Greenwich+Docklands International Festival – more details coming soon! 

Avant Garde Dance – Table Manners
Bootworks Theatre – The Jukeboxes
Cocoloco – Willy & Wally
Company Chameleon – Witness This
Deaf Men Dancing – Corazón a Corazón
Dizzy O’ Dare – Baba Yaga’s House
Horse + Bamboo Theatre in association with Lempen Puppet Theatre – Theatre for One
Humanhood – Orbis
Luke Jerram Ltd – Museum of the Moon
Matthew Harrison – The Actual Reality Arcade
The Thrill Laboratory – VR Playground
Unlimited Theatre – How I Hacked My Way Into Space
Wild N Beets – Bingo Lingo
Wired Aerial Theatre – To Me, To You…

For more information on each of these companies and their new shows click here

Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon will feature at Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in 2017. More details coming soon.

Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon will feature at Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in 2017. More details coming soon.

Find out more about Without Walls

10th ISAN Ideas Summit

10th ISAN Ideas Summit
Deadline: Wednesday 7th October, 5pm

ISAN is delighted to invite submissions from artists to our 10th ISAN Ideas Summit, an integral part of the National Outdoor Arts Conference. This is an opportunity for artists and companies in the Outdoor Arts sector to present ideas at an early stage of development to producers, programmers, funders and other professionals. It aims to help artists raise the profile of new Outdoor Arts performance projects and to help find potential partners who can provide further assistance in the development of new ideas. The Ideas Summit cannot promise to deliver you a commission or tour for a new show, but it can help to develop relationships and raise your profile – and often leads to bookings.

This year, the Ideas Summit will be made up of two parts:

Part One: The Quick Pitch

Inside the theatre, you’ll have exactly three minutes to give a really quick overview of your project. What you do in those three minutes is entirely up to you – you could just say hello and tell us about the idea, you could show a short film, you could give us a snippet of the show, you could sing a song. So long as you stick to time and make sure you can get in and out very quickly to keep things moving, the floor is yours…

Part Two: The Washing Line

Then out in the foyer, all the presenting companies will have a two metre washing line on which to hang out their ‘washing’; this could be images, leaflets, contact details, provisional designs, costumes or examples of past work. Keep it easy to understand and make a good impression. There will be plenty of time for the delegates to go around and take a further look at the ideas they’ve heard about, follow up discussions and make connections. We’ll keep this going over lunchtime to make it as informal and friendly as possible.

Please note: All Ideas Summit proposals, successful or not, will be included in an Artists Booklet given to programmers attending the conference and available online.

Artists Selected for the 10th ISAN Summit

ISAN is offering selected artists and companies, not in receipt of a bursary from any other source, the following:

  • Hotel accommodation for single or double occupancy for the night of Tuesday 24th Nov (and discounted rates for any additional nights needed)
  • Morning teas and coffees and lunch on Wednesday 25th Nov.

In addition, any invited Ideas Summit attendee has the option to attend the whole conference, including the three-course delegate dinner on Tues 24th Nov (in an aquarium!), for the concessionary rate of £100 + VAT.

The conference takes place over two days – the 24th & 25th Nov – in Hull at Hull Truck Theatre, and the Ideas Summit is on the second day.  If you are interested in presenting at this event please visit to compete the online form by Wednesday 7th Oct 2015, 5pm.

Please ensure you read the GUIDANCE NOTES before completing and submitting your application form. We aim to notify all applicants of the outcome during the week commencing Monday 19th October 2015.

Without Walls Open Call: Commissioning and touring opportunities for new outdoor work in 2016

Without Walls invites artists and companies from any discipline to request support for the creation and touring of new outdoor work for presentation and touring in 2016.

GDIF is a founder member of Without Walls, an Arts Council funded consortium of leading festivals dedicated to the development and touring of new and exciting outdoor work. Other members include Brighton Festival, Hat Fair, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

In 2016, Without Walls will be embarking on a new project to create and support new outdoor projects by UK artists; this is subject to a successful Grants for Arts application.

Without Walls will be looking to support the creation and touring of a range of exciting and ambitious projects of different genres, styles and forms.

For more information about the commissioning and touring opportunities for 2016, please visit Without Walls. Applications are due by Thursday 5th November, 5 pm.

'Carousel' by Southpaw Dance Company. Commissioned by Without Walls. GDIF2015 - Photo by Warren King

‘Carousel’ by Southpaw Dance Company. Commissioned by Without Walls.
GDIF2015 – Photo by Warren King

GDIF2014 Photo Ambassador – Dave Flynn

GDIF is very excited to have Dave Flynn, winner of last year’s photo competition, as this year’s photo ambassador for 2014. Make sure to follow our blog for photo updates from Dave during this year’s festival!


I am Dave Flynn, I became interested in digital photography in 2010 after being made redundant from a 15 year retail career.  Since then I’ve achieved several photographic distinctions ranging from gold awards and highly commended achievements with the society of wedding and portrait photographers (SWPP).  My highest accolade was winning Nature & Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012, again with ‘the societies’.

I lived in Greenwich for 15 years and I attended the GDIF festival for the first time last year.  I just went along for the photo opportunities and ended up staying there for most of the first day of the festival. The atmosphere was fantastic when I arrived and the  buzz continued to grow throughout the day.  I remember it rained on and off but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits!

There were huge crowds and loads of fun.  Wherever you looked there was loads going on. The beached whale was a highlight and attracted plenty of onlookers.  The Orblys (huge eyeballs) on stilts were my personal favourites, they entertained everyone and the kids were excited and scared of them.  I also loved the interaction between the performers and crowd which added to the amazing atmosphere.  I’m excited to shoot this years festival and looking forward to capturing the atmosphere once again.  I can’t pinpoint who I’m looking forward to seeing the most but I’m exited to catch the highlights of the opening and closing ceremonies as those artists are there for one performance only.

Come rain or shine, I’m sure this year’s event will be the best yet and personally I’m delighted to be a part of it officially.

GDIF2013 - Credit Dave Flynn

GDIF2013 – Credit Dave Flynn

Sit Back, Hold Tight!

A blog written by Sarah Blanc, Artistic Director of Moxie Brawl, a fresh and currently all-female dance theatre company. ‘Sit Back’ evokes the spirit of the 1940’s through music, text and dance, this new dance theatre piece recalls the role of women at times of war.

photo by Bruno Rodrigues

I believe dance is for everyone so making and presenting work outdoors gives me a great opportunity to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible.

Last year Moxie Brawl won the Gone In 20 Minutes 2013 Jury Prize following performances at over 5 festivals in the UK. Since then we have gained the support of Watermans, investment from Arts Council England and producing support from Candoco Dance Company (with whom I have been an Associate Artist for over 3 years).

Being part of GI20 was fantastic as we were able to learn how to adapt our work for the outdoors in a supportive way, gaining feedback along the tour. It was such an invaluable experience. I am excited that this year we have been able to develop the piece further with the help of all partners and festival presenters.

We used our 2 weeks of development time in the studio to go into more detail for certain sections of choreography and revisit costume, props and even the British Trollyebus Museum as part of our research.IMG_8473a

We worked with Mark Smith of Deaf Men Dancing to help make the piece more accessible for Deaf audiences and those with hearing impairments.

We have just returned from our first performances at Fetes Tour de la Blanche in Issoudoun, France and it is exciting to see audience reactions to our work and seeing it all come to life!

As a choreographer I have been so privileged to work with some gorgeous performers for Sit Back. First up is Lucy Starkey whose character Alice during the piece gets accepted to the Women’s Volunteer Service. Katie Cambridge, new to the moxie line up, plays Agatha whose fiancé is away at war and constantly dreams of his return. Josephine played by Kimberley Harvey is the most maternal of all the characters, constantly looking after everyone but during the piece she receives some devastating news. Winnie, played by Jenny Reeves, is younger more innocent and with her Dad being away in the war working as a doctor, she wants to follow his footsteps and study medicine.

It has been such a great few weeks and we are more than buzzing to get this show on the road. Looking forward to seeing you along the way at GDIF and hope for you to meet Alice, Agatha, Josephine and Winnie- four trolley bus clippies working in London of 1942.

Hold Tight Please!


Show time:

Sat 21 June 14:05, 17:10
Sun 22 June 13:15, 15:00
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10
FREE (Runs approx. 20 mins)

Click here to watch the highlights of Sit Back at Gone In 20 Minutes.

Behind-the-Scenes with Light the Fuse Theatre Co.

Full Stop Blog
By Light the Fuse Theatre Co.

Travelling around on buses is part of being a Londoner. Whether it’s the night bus at 2am with half a box of chips and the music still ringing in your ears or a desperate dash to grab the bus to avoid being late for work at 8.48am – we all have bus stories to tell. And that was where we started at Light the Fuse in thinking about stories for Full Stop. We soon realised that the star of this show was the bus stop itself. It’s an incredible place for people watching, random encounters and strange occurrences. The huge diversity of people that frequent a bus stop in a twenty-four hour period is mind-boggling.

Did you know that there are 19,500 bus stops in London and 90% of Londoners live within 400 yards of one!

So we decided to make a show about that. In twenty minutes. No pressure.

With three performers and a lot of running about we jump from the midnight revellers to the warring Mums, laden down with shopping and gunslinger fantasies, ticking off each hour until midnight returns again. We meet the little old lady who visits the bus stop every day, not to get on the bus, but to appease her murderous whims. There are the teenage dinosaurs, all screeching and antagonistic, the ultra competitive office workers and the couple that could have been. 


The bus stop is an incredible crucible for human emotion: the frustration of time, the pressure of city life and the possibility of romance all in one identifiable location. It is archetypal. This meant getting the look of the bus stop right was key, so we went to the experts. Theatre Royal Plymouth create sets for productions across the UK and the world. Recent shows have included Book of Mormon, Miss Saigon, The Full Monty and obviously Full Stop

Although petrol buses have been used in London since 1904 bus stops didn’t appear till after the First World War.


We wanted the set to look as much like a real London bus stop as possible (with a few cleverly hidden extras). When the audience spots it by the Cutty Sark, in the middle of a town square, halfway up a field, we want them to double-take and for a moment question why there would be a bus stop out there. It’s such an iconic symbol that we take for granted every day, but move it from its natural location and suddenly it becomes a space full of potential.

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 3.30.50 PM

Full Stop is not just about the reality of waiting at a bus stop, its about the fantasies and dreams we all have while we wait. The moment of getting eye contact with a fit looking stranger, sheltering under it when there is a downpour, vying for the bench. All these moments spark a surreal journey based around a real London landmark.

Full Stop (web resize)

Mimbre Joint Artistic Director Lina Johansson on ‘Bench’

Lina Johansson – joint Artistic Director for Mimbre, shares a little window into the process of creating Mimbre’s new performance Bench, coming to Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in London on 21-22 and 24th of June.

Photo by Mimbre

Photo by Mimbre


The idea for Bench started like a small simple idea – a set made as a park bench – allowing us to plant the show in the reality of where it is performed; in a park, a street or a square and use the theatre of our public spaces to inspire us for a series of sketches.

Photo by Marco Berardi

Photo by Marco Berardi

I knew I wanted it to reflect on the way we are among other people, and the way other people view you when in public. What assumptions do you make if you see a woman sitting on a bench on her own – do you assume she is waiting for someone? Do you think she is lonely? Who do we meet if we allow ourselves to be friendly to strangers? What do you see if you allow yourself to sit down on a bench and watch the spectacle of the street playing out in front of you?

Photo by Marco Berardi

Photo by Marco Berardi

Working with physical choreographies and using a devising process means that you don’t know from the start exactly which story it is that will carry through and have a resonance with an audience. The beauty is that stories starts to emerge that I didn’t even know myself that I wanted to tell.

Photo by Mimbre

Photo by Mimbre

Alcina Mendes created a beautifully, warm main character and Rebecka and Silvia explored a charade of different personae; flowing choreographies, dreamy fantasies and some very silly characters bringing some laughter and lightness.

Photo by Mimbre

Alcina Mendes; Photo by Mimbre


The acrobatic training is as of course always a big part of Mimbre’s rehearsals, with an hour long warm-up and strengthening session each morning and time for practising the acrobatics tricks both in the rehearsals and in the weeks in-between rehearsals; to find new tricks and to keep existing ones safe. For Bench our acrobatics coach Adrian Porter and my joint Artistic Director Silvia Fratelli trained up our 2 new Mimbre members; Alcina Mendes and Rebecka Nord. Finding trust, safety and confidence with the new tricks is time-consuming but is part of the physical language we use for our shows and I am as always enjoying the exploration of the ins and outs of where the physicality meet the theatre, the thrill versus the story, the physical versus the emotive impressions.

Photo by Marcos Avlonitis

Photo by Marcos Avlonitis

Through Alcina’s careful exploration of the main character the first rough run-through held a lot of loneliness and sadness. Impressions of how being surrounded by other people can sometimes make you feel more lonely then if you’re just on your own. Which led us to look for scenes of belonging, of happiness and celebration, to compliment without taking away from the atmosphere found. This led us to discuss friendships and belongings, what it is that drew us into circus and performance and what that world symbolises for us, and we used some of these conversations as inspiration for our celebratory and warmer finale choreography. As part of the rehearsal process we did several informal sharings where we invited friends and colleagues to see the material we had created so far and we also did a preview/premiere of the shows at the Crossing the Creek event at Laban Theatre and Greenwich Dance – who commissioned the show – in April.

Photo by Marcos Avlonitis

Photo by Marcos Avlonitis

Everything changes as soon as you put it in front of an audience and it helps me as a director to see it through other eyes (I normally watch the audience more than the performers at these occasions). Seeing the audiences reaction, hearing people’s feedback and get a little bit of distance to the rehearsal room gives a clearer view of what work is still needed or any structural changes to how the show hangs together.

Photo by Mimbre

Photo by Mimbre

From this we have decided on some dramatical changes and Bench is now getting ready to go off on a tour in it’s appropriate setting – around various outdoor theatre festivals around UK and Europe and of course coming to Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in London in June. I am very excited about allowing the show to take on it’s own life and paths, for me a show only really exists once audiences have had their chance to start to influence the shape of the performance and the energy of the performers and I am looking forward to see how it will be further influenced by the lovely audience at GDIF.

Photo by Mimbre

Photo by Mimbre

Last but not least a big thank you to the great artistic team who helped to make Bench; guest choreographers Natasha Khamjani and Anna Llombart who brought some fresh and different flavours to our movement. Michalis Kokkoladis for designing a genuinely old and knackered looking Bench that in reality is super sturdy and can be flatpacked! Ted Barnes who as always have woven a stunning musical score for us, binding all the different paces and atmospheres together. Last but not least, designer Kasper Hansen and maker Sophie Bellin who sourced 20 costumes for the different characters that the performers are changing between through the show….

Photo by Mimbre

Photo by Mimbre

Without Walls consortium


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Without Walls is a consortium of leading arts organisations and festivals dedicated to the development of the UK’s outdoor arts sector. The Associate Touring Network supports the onward touring of work commissioned and presented by Without Walls. Without Walls Trailer 2013, … Continue reading

Do you have an exciting idea for an outdoor theatre production?


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‘Open call’ for outdoor theatre productions – Deadline: 29 November Do you have an exceptional idea for an outdoor theatre production? If so, this commissioning opportunity may be for you! GDIF, Lyric Hammersmith, Watford Palace Theatre and Latitude Festival have come together … Continue reading

One Year On from the Paralympic Opening Ceremony


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By Bradley Hemmings, Artistic Director at GDIF It’s exactly one year on since the Paralympic Opening Ceremony which I had the great privilege of co-directing with Jenny Sealey. What an incredible, joyous, tear stained night it was. From the pre-show … Continue reading