Showtime for Richmond Riverside Celebrations
The Mayor of London’s Showtime arts festival comes to Richmond this summer, with events held throughout July and August
Showtime is London’s biggest ever-outdoor arts festival, a celebration of the strange, the innovative and the unimaginable. Top performers from around the world are gathering to take part in these Olympic year celebrations backed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
Acrobatics, comedy and street dancers are among just some of the spectacles awaiting those who attend the free-to-enter Showtime Festival on Richmond Riverside on July 22.
The festivities begin at midday and continue until 5pm. Mysterious secret performances at undisclosed times and locations will run alongside international acts such as acrobatics by Trois Points De Suspension and comedy street theatre of the Spurting Man by Avanti Display. CBeebies gardening favourites Vegetable Nannies will be providing food-growing workshops for children.
Mini-fest will continue to host free outdoor theatre, dance and arts activities from July 25 to August 14.
When asked what people should expect of the Showtime Festival, Boris Johnson promised that “Memories will be made, records will be broken and most of all, London will party like never before so get out, explore our city – it’s going to be a summer like no other.”
The celebrations in Richmond were funded by a 50,000 pound “Your 2012” grant from the Mayor of London. Councilor Pamela Fleming from Richmond Council’s Strategic Cabinet for Community, Business and Culture explained how the grant was used:
“The £50,000 grant has helped us to stage some fantastic festivals and the hanging baskets really will add to the special atmosphere that is building up in the borough”.
Choreographer Rosie Whitney-Fish will transform the recently redeveloped Diamond Jubilee Gardens in Twickenham into a project entitled “Dear Lido” (a reference to the site’s previous use). It will consist of vintage tea parties, community bunting, site-specific dance performances and workshops, all influenced by the stories from users of the former lido. Workshops run every day from July 30 to August 3, 12pm to 3pm. Performances take place on August 4 and 5 at 2pm and 4pm.
The use of the Twickenham site is not without controversy, locals maintain it was a bath and not a lido while others in the community are disappointed by the transformation of the land into a park and not a public swimming centre as promised when it closed down for refurbishment in 1980.
***Correction: the original article suggested that Lords of Lightning and Bollywood dancing would take place in Richmond. This has been amended. Arcadia – Lords of Lightning will be at the event in Kingston on the previous day.***