Amidst a fascinating programme of film, debate and discussion, we’ve made sure to include a range of performance and poetry to enlighten the spirit and romance the soul.
Starting on Sunday 17 May, we’ve joined forces with Sounds Australia to present a showcase of Australian live music in East London. It is a packed day of exciting new bands about to break through to the UK.
Our launch event on Thursday 28 May features a blistering mix of poets, performers, musicians and writers from Australia and New Zealand, including performance poet Selina Tusitala Marsh, a force to be reckoned with in the British poetry scene, and a major advocate for Pacific writing and poetry back home. Kiwi duo Duncan Sarkies and Joe Blossom will also perform an extract from their show Demolition of the Century, a taster for the full performance offered on Sunday 31 May. This fast-paced cabaret-comedy is a humorous and sometimes heartbreaking look at families, memories and the fragility of the human mind.
A special showcase of Australia & New Zealand poetry held during the Festival will feature distinguished New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O’Sullivan discussing war poetry and music with esteemed British poet Ruth Padel. Separately AC Grayling will explore the work of one of Australia’s finest and most prolific poets Gwen Harwood.
Another performance poet to share his work will be Omar Musa from Australia, whose debut novel has been enjoying praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh and Christos Tsiolkas.
For the classical music fans, we’re delighted to be working with Tait Memorial Trust and presenting a concert with the Australian Piano Quartet, with a range of music recitals scattered throughout the weekend (further details will be announced soon).
For more details on the variety of events on offer, see our 2015 Festival Programme.