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Tall Ship visit marks Royal Greenwich Festivals launch

(Royal Borough of Greenwich News Release)

The Royal Borough of Greenwich launched its highly anticipated Royal Greenwich Festivals 2016 today (May 11) with a special preview event on board the magnificent Tall Ship The Morgenster.

Spectators had a chance to meet some of the performers who will create a huge and eclectic range of performances, events, workshops and shows that make up the Royal Greenwich Festivals throughout 2016.

Plus, Royal Greenwich is proud to begin the countdown to the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta in April 2017, when 50 majestic Tall Ships will gather along the river bank of the Thames before setting sail for Quebec to mark the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Federation.

The Festivals’ spectacular programme of events will unfold across the royal borough over the summer months and include a culturally rich mix of dance, theatre, music - providing some of the best and most varied entertainment in the capital this summer. Local people, businesses and visitors alike can look forward to watching – and participating in – a fantastic
array of events. Whether it is street theatre, literature, music or dance performances, the Festivals will offer something for everyone.

Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “I am delighted to welcome back the Royal Greenwich Festivals for another exciting year of entertainment, dance, theatre, music and art. This year’s programme of events promises to be bigger and better than ever.

“The Royal Borough has a very strong commitment to arts and culture, especially animating our town centres with spectacular street performances designed to appeal to residents and visitors from all over the world. Our strong arts and tourism industry provides support for thousands of local jobs and provides a significant boost to the borough’s economy.

“There are a huge number of wonderful attractions and vibrant streets here in the royal borough - with shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and museums offering unique food and gifts. I recommend residents and visitors sample as much of it as possible and make the most of what’s on offer.”

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Wellbeing said: “The Royal Greenwich Festivals have become a mainstay of London’s cultural scene, attracting audiences from far and wide to enjoy the entertainment on offer in the heart of a World Heritage Site. The Royal Borough is recognised as a great place of culture and its rich mix of arts and entertainment is helping to attract millions of visitors from all over the UK and worldwide every year. We are again looking forward to a great summer which will help to reinforce Greenwich as a must-see destination.”

Below is a rundown of the huge and varied programme of events that make up the Royal Greenwich Festivals 2016. For further information and a full programme of events including dates, times and locations, visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/festivals

Greenwich Book Festival - Friday 27 May & Saturday 28 May

Words and ideas come to life in two days of author events, discussions and creative workshops in the historic buildings and grounds of the Old Royal Naval College on the banks of the River Thames at SE10.

Events include:

Children’s Book Festival - children of every age will find new stories to amaze and delight with class visits, author events and free craft workshops

Fiction Festival - visitors can get closer to writers and their writing as never before in intimate festival venues

Non-Fiction Festival – exploring the natural world and uncovering fascinating lives, this festival shows us the power of words to change and heal. It features Samuel Johnson Prize winner Kate Summerscale and indie icon Brix Smith Start among many others

Indies and New Voices - hear from some of our most exciting new voices, from the experimental to the specialist, poetry to short stories and spoken word, in a range of showcases from independent publishers and local authors

Creative Writing - explore the world of writing and publishing in a specially curated set of events.

Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival - Saturday 28 May to Saturday 4 June

The Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival is back with a week of fun family shows and workshops at venues across the Royal Borough. From new work to classics, outdoor performances to intimate studio pieces, plus many creative workshops, there is something for everyone this May half term.

Events include:

Into the West – the Travelling Light Theatre Company tells the story of two children, living with their widowed father in Dublin, and of the magical white horse that appears in their lives

Fun Family Workshops - take part in creative workshops during May half term. Something for all the family at various venues across the royal borough

The Giant Balloon Show - an innovative and quirky outdoor show in a park near you borough

Light Show - an immersive, multi-sensory production for young people with complex needs

SPOT - the international theatre company La Baracca explores children’s fascination with light in this show specifically made for little children with simple words in English and Italian

Jessie and the Cloud Machine - suitable for the whole family, this musical adventure is brought to life with hand carved puppets and enchanting song

You Are Here - an interactive outdoor adventure for families and communities. Families will experience an intrepid journey inspired by people’s voyages

Pitschi, The Kitten with Dreams - this original production uses a rich mix of story-telling, physical theatre, music and song to tell the story of a kitten that learns to be happy by being exactly what she is

The Wonderful World of Mr E - finish the week off with a superb outdoor show where Mr E and his two assistants will take the entire audience on an adventure into imagination itself.

Greenwich Dances - Friday 17 June to Thursday 30 June

Immerse yourself in the biggest Greenwich Dances festival yet, with free outdoor events and family performances in venues and spaces across the Royal Borough - as well as events in the stunning surroundings of Greenwich Dance’s Grade II listed home at Borough Halls, SE10.

Events include:

Moving Woolwich - a vibrant celebration of dance and performance featuring a youth dance platform programmed by and for young people

In the Mix: a Cando2 Cabaret Night - a relaxed evening of bold, diverse and exciting performances to celebrate Candoco Dance Company’s 25th anniversary

Wee Company & Francesco Scavetta’s Surprised Body Project #London - led by acclaimed dance artist Francesco Scavetta, a three week creation process in the UK and Sweden will bring together dancers from across Europe in the UK premiere of Surprised Body Project #London.

We May Be Some Time - Royal Museums Greenwich choreographer in residence Bethan Peters invites people on a unique and interactive trail of discovery through the National Maritime Museum as a cast consisting of local communities bring the building to life with dance and song

Greenwich Dances at Moat Island - two exciting outdoor family shows, taking a sideways look at dance

Double Bill: Jan Martens and Hannah Buckley - the final evening of Greenwich Dances 2016 is a double bill of solo performances by these two acclaimed choreographers that will make the audience think and feel differently about the world around them.

Greenwich Docklands International Festival - Friday 24 June to Saturday 2 July

This year’s 21st birthday edition features the very best of UK and international outdoor arts. To celebrate, the Festival will be animating more venues than in any previous year, with traffic free streets, parks, squares and heritage sites across Greenwich and Docklands all hosting the festivities.

Events include:

Greenwich Fair - the largest and most intensive programme of street artisanship in the capital, Greenwich Fair has over 22 productions including circus, theatre, dance, street games, cabaret and live art

Moat Island - discover the magical, storybook-infused world of Moat Island

Ignite! - an outdoor arts programme taking inspiration from Woolwich’s manufacturing and industrial past, whilst looking towards its new and evolving cultural ambitions.

The Clash of Drums by Les Commandos Percu and Deabru Beltzak - the Festival reaches a spectacular finale with The Clash of Drums; a mix of percussion and awesome fireworks from the French company Les Commandos Percu and the Spanish street theatre group Deabru Beltzak.

Greenwich Music Festival - Saturday 11 June - Saturday 30 July

Vibrant one day music events held in Woolwich, Eltham and Greenwich Town Centres. Featuring classical, world, folk and popular music performed by local, amateur and professional musicians.

Events include:

Greenwich Classics - join the Bollywood Brass Band for an afternoon featuring the very best classical Bollywood and European music spanning the last 40 years.

World Music Experience - General Gordon Square will form the backdrop to a selection of music from around the world. The event will showcase a diverse range of music giving the local community a taste of what the Royal Borough has to offer.

Eltham Music Festival - over three weekends Eltham will host a series of Saturday afternoon music events

Greenwich World Cultural Festival – Sunday 3 July

Explore the beautiful grounds of Eltham Palace and discover pop-up performances, live music, and creative activities for all the family – plus dance through the decades in the Great Hall of the Palace, SE9. Greenwich World Cultural Festival returns to Eltham Palace & Gardens with a stunning afternoon of free dance, theatre, music and circus from around the world, for all the family to enjoy.

PARKSfest - Sunday 5 June - Sunday 31 July

A festival of open air entertainment in Greenwich’s pleasaunces, parks and commons. Featuring music, dance and drama performances by local artists and groups, PARKSfest aims to entertain and inspire; drawing local people into parks and open spaces to watch live performances within easy reach of their homes. The festival is planned, organised and delivered by the local Friends of Parks groups. Look out for Family Fun Day, Arts in the Park and a Royal Celebration Tea Party among much, much more in the royal borough’s parks and open spaces this summer.

For further information on the Royal Greenwich Festivals 2016, and a full programme of events including dates, times and locations, visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/festivals

For festival updates on Twitter check #RGF16

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