Collating experimental theatre, live art and performance, SPILL Festival of Performance is a presentation of exceptional artists from around the world. Now in it’s fifth edition, the event was established in 2007 by performance maker Robert Pacitti and is now recognised as the UK’s premier Artist-led festival of innovative live work. The event opens 3 April and runs in various venues across London, including the Barbican, National Theatre Studio, Soho Theatre and the Whitechapel Gallery, until 14 April. This years event is curated around the notions of contact and explores ideas of connection, exchange and advocacy.
The full programme features 36 different events, totalling 86 different performances across six venues. One of the productions presented is the UK Premiere of Verk Produksjoner’s The Eternal Smile (Barbican, 6 – 7 April). Focused on a large group of dead people, they sit in the darkness conversing to pass the time, or rather, eternity. The story is based on Nobel Prize winning-author Par Lagerkvist’s novel and is a wild, philosophical performance about the dead and their complex relationship with the living.
Other performances feature music, such as The Pain of Desire, by Wendy Bevan and Temper Temper (Toynbee Studios 5 – 6 April). Fusing muscular jazz and sparkling blues with a richly textured visual landscape, the piece harks back to the golden age of silent film by combining stunning music with captivating images.
Audiences can also expect to see Forced Entertainment’s Quizoola! (Barbican, 12 – 13 April), Empress Stah in Space, a SPILL Commission (Soho Theatre 10 – 13 April), Jamie Lewis Hadley’s Analogue to a Blunt Trauma (Netil House, 12 April) and Heather Cassil’s European premiere of Becoming An Image (National Theatre Studio 13 April), amongst many others.
SPILL Festival of Performance, 3 – 14 April, London.
1. The Eternal Smile – ensemble – copyright Verk Produksjoner.
2. Empress Stah (credit Manuel Vason).