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London 2012 Festival programme packed with Arts Council funded South East events

  • Date: 26 April 2012
  • Area: National, South East
Tracey Emin standing in front of sea in Margate

Tracey Emin in Margate. Credit: © Jas Lehal

Arts Council funded events in the South East are amongst the highlights of the London 2012 Festival programme, which was announced today, celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The London 2012 Festival will take place from 21 June to 9 September 2102 and will feature leading artists from around the world - including British artist Tracey Emin at Turner Contemporary, world-renowned British playwright Alan Ayckbourn at Chichester Festival Theatre, John Gerrard at Modern Art Oxford and Richard Wilson at De La Warr Pavilion.

Across the country, more than 25,000 artists from all 204 Olympic competing nations will take part in over 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues over 81 days: from large-scale outdoor spectaculars at Stonehenge, the Giant's Causeway, Hadrian's Wall and Arthur's Seat, to Shakespeare performed in every language.

In the South East, we see an exciting mix of cultural activity:

  • a spectacular water-themed street theatre production from Dutch company Close Act (Pi-Leau) at Stade Open Space in Hastings
  • a new Rio-style float and ‘bateria’ created with disabled and non-disabled carnival artists from the UK and Embaixadores da Alegria, Brazil on the Isle of Wight from Blue Touch Paper Carnival
  • Site specific performances, mass dances and participatory workshops for all ages, as part of a nation-wide initiative called Big Dance 
  • World Stories, a permanent world art gallery created and curated by young people at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
  • An interactive, multi-sensory bee show for young people, but designed for deaf and hard of hearing from Tin Bath Theatre Company and an English Rose Garden made of thousands of ceramic flowers by Paul Cummins, both Unlimited Commissions

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Arts Council England is proud to be a principal funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008, over 18 million people all over the UK have participated in or attended more than 9,000 performances and 8,000 workshops.

In the South East, over 50,000 people have taken part in The Boat Project, also part of the London 2012 Festival from 21 June, through volunteering, donating or attending an event. The project is led by Lone Twin as part of Artists taking the lead, Arts Council England’s flagship Cultural Olympiad project. Artists Lone Twin have been gathering donations of wood and their stories that now make up the body of a 30-foot yacht. The Boat Project launches on 7 May and will sail along the South Coast crewed by nominated volunteers this summer.

London 2012 Festival will see 130 world premieres, 85 UK premieres, dance in every conceivable location, free pop concerts and the UK's largest poetry event with poets from over 150 countries, with 10 million free tickets and opportunities to get involved in every corner of the country.

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said, ‘Arts Council England is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, and we are proud that our programme combines both local, regional and international themes that celebrate the talented artists that work, live and play in the South East region.

‘Our programme is ambitious with lots of new work taking place in unexpected places from the sea to the streets, inspired, created by and involving many people including some exceptional work led by Deaf and disabled artists. There really is something for everyone - from public realm, visual arts and museum exhibitions, to large-scale arts events outdoors and a spectacular festival of dance. Enjoy!’

To see the full London 2012 Festival line up, please visit http://www.london2012.com/festival

Highlights from the London 2012 Festival programme in the South East:

St Nicholas Rest Gardens, Brighton
5 – 7 May
Bee Detective, Tin Bath Theatre Company
A sensory spectacle with animation, vibrations and waggle dancing for young audiences. An Unlimited Commission supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

Blenheim Palace, Oxford
1 June – 17 September
Paul Cummins, The English Flower Garden
Thousands of hand-thrown ceramic flowers made by artist Paul Cummins create a typically English garden. An Unlimited Commission supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

Turner Contemporary, Margate
24 May – 23 September
Tracey Emin, She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea
The first major exhibition by the celebrated British artist in her hometown, Margate, including work by Turner and Rodin. Turner Contemporary is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

JUNE

Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes
21 June – 9 September
The Sacred Truce Project - Ursula Rani Sarma The nationally acclaimed playwright's new play directed by Kully Thiarai performed by young people from five UK regions

CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood
21 June – 4 November
Tony Cragg, CASS Sculpture Foundation
An exhibition in West Sussex of outdoor sculptures by the British artist.

The Story Museum, Oxford
21 June – 9 September
Rochester's Ripping Story Loom
Exciting events, workshops and story reading to celebrate the launch of a magical machine which makes stories come alive. Supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

Aylesbury Waterside, Aylesbury
21 June – 9 September
The Sacred Truce Project - Ursula Rani Sarma
The nationally acclaimed playwright's new play directed by Kully Thiarai performed by young people from five UK regions.

Stade Open Space, Hastings
23 June
Close Act, Pi-Leau
Spectacular, water-themed street theatre produced in association with GDF, MSL Projects and Hastings Borough Council. Supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton
23 June – 30 December 2012
World Stories, Young Voices
Young people design a new permanent gallery for Brighton’s world art collection. Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove is a Renaissance Major partner museum.

Simeon Street Recreation Ground, Isle of Wight / Horsham Park, Horsham
30 June – 15 July
Blue Touch Paper Carnival (UK) and Embaixadores da Alegria (Brazil)
A new Rio-style float and bateria based on the theme of St George created with disabled and non-disabled carnival artists from the UK and Brazil. A partnership project between Horsham District Council and the New Carnival Company, an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation. Supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

JULY

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea
7 July – 1 October
Richard Wilson, Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got a Great Idea…..
A full-sized replica coach, balanced from the Pavilion roof, recreates the final scene of The Italian Job. De La Warr Pavilion is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

Winchester City Centre
6-8 July
Big Dance 2012 - Hat Fair
Site specific performances, a mass dance for all to join, participatory workshops and some unexpected surprises.  Hat Fair is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

Modern Art Oxford Offsite, Oxford
6 – 27 July
John Gerrard - Exercise (Djibouti) 2012
A major new simulation by John Gerrard that looks at the exercise and representation of power. Modern Art Oxford is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

Woking Park, Woking
7 July
Big Dance 2012, Woking World
A dance stage, pop up performances by professional artists and local youth groups and a tent for trying out different dance styles.

Kino Digital Cinema, Hawkhurst / Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton
9 – 15 July
A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back
Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams present a relay of short films created by the public, starting in Shetland and touring the UK.

The Promenade, Brighton
14 July
Big Dance 2012 Day Brighton
A performance stage on the seafront hosts local dance groups and offers open workshops, including mass participation routines.

AUGUST

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea
11- 12 August
Crystal Ball
Nine new single-screen media works from outstanding Asian and European artists, commissioned by Samsung for the IOC collection. De La Warr Pavilion is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

Oxford Playhouse, Oxford
18 – 25 August 2012
Druid Murphy, Plays by Tom Murphy
The story of Irish emigration - those who went and those who were left behind. Directed by Garry Hynes. Oxford Playhouse is an Arts council England National portfolio organisation.

Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury
28 August
Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony
Join in the celebrations as the four UK flames are combined to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame at the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement.

Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury
28 August
Eliza Carthy, Welcome Song
Eliza Carthy, Robert Hollingworth and I Fagiolini lead a major new music project uniting communities in a celebration in song. Supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.

SEPTEMBER

Fusion Asia Festival, South Hill Park, Bracknell
1 September
Red Baraat
Asian arts agency present the seriously hot, New York based bhangra, funk, dhol 'n' brass outfit for their debut UK tour.

Creek Creative Studios, Faversham / Theatre Royal Winchester, Winchester
19 – 22 September
Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow, Improbable
A nationwide conversation - in real-time and online - inspired by theatre in 2012 and beyond, using Open Space technology. Supported through Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts.