Monday, 11 June 2007

A feast of festivals

June is a month for festivals south of the river, with three happening along the Docklands Light Railway route.

First is Motorexpo in Canary Wharf. Starting today and running until 17 June, and now in its 12th year, Motorexpo is the UK's biggest motor show. Over 200 vehicles from the world's leading manufacturers will be on show throughout the Canary Wharf estate. Car makers include Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and Maserati. The cars are shown outside, transferring the estate into a giant showroom for the more than 40 manufacturers' latest models. And what's more, it's all free!

Open road: Aston Martin's V8 Vantage Roadster will be on show at Motorexpo

Next is Greenwich Alive, a multi-arts programme of events celebrating contemporary and classical arts, music and architecture in Greenwich. Three are family architecture days at the Queen's House, open gardens, open studios and special film screenings, among others. Some of the highlights include the Blackheath Art Society 60th anniversary exhibition, running from 16-27 June at the Blackheath Library Gallery (Blackheath Art Society) and Handel with Hamper (17 June), a recital of Handel's music in the beautiful chapel of the Old Royal Naval College. During the extended interval you can have a picnic in the lawns and colonnades of the Grand Square.

Then on 21-24 June is the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. This annual series of specially commissioned outdoor performances is absolutely free. The Festival Fanfare, on 21 June, takes place in Beresford Square in Woolwich. Dutch company Close Act, with White Wings, present ethereal stilt apparitions. From France, Fanfare Jo Bithume’s eccentric brass ensemble plays music from Handel to Hendrix in surprising locations.

Australia’s Strange Fruit embark on a sublime journey into memory with Absolute Pearl. Paper Men create Kurosawa inspired performance from huge swathes of paper. Vernisseurs’ Joyeuse Pagille Urbaine wraps public spaces in ribbons and confetti plus dazzling fireworks from UK pyrotechnic virtuosi The World Famous. Over the next three days the Greenwich and Doclands area will be alive with aerial performance, live music, outdoor dance, theatre and street art.

Chaos theory: Grupo Puja take their inspiration from nuclear physics for K@osmos at the Old Royal Naval College

Motor Expo
Greenwich Alive
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

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