Greenwich and Docklands Festival
2nd July, 2009
The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival returned during the weekend with a spectacular water-themed programme for 2009. The four day free event was packed with performances by UK and international artists using water-based interpretations to explore and reflect the unique identity of Greenwich and East London.
On Saturday evening, the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich on the banks of the Thames, was transformed by Dutch company Close Act as they performed their Pi-Leau. Pi-Leau was set in a fictional Woolwich submerged by water, following rising sea levels. Part fairytale and part apocalyptic vision, giant structures and stilt performers combined with pyrotechnics to create an experience in which Waterworld collided with The Little Mermaid. To bring this theme to life, Stage Electrics provided City Colours outdoor architectural floodlights, 6 towers of 12 par cans which lit the main performance area, follow spots, Martin MAC 2000 moving lights in waterproof inflatable domes, sound, rigging and an Altair Wireless Intercom system for the company's technical crew on site. The impressive production also used ingenious staging which put the audience right at the centre of the performance. Befitting of its theme, the rain came down heavily during the 80 minute performance, but the performers and technical equipment carried on much to the delight of the audience. This was the first time the Pi-Leau was performed in the UK by Close Act, a highly acclaimed professional group of actors, musicians, stilt-walkers, dancers, pyrotechnicians and acrobats.