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> > > Graeae shines a light on rights at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF)
photo of a dark figure taken from a low vantage point against a brilliant blue sky

Graeae present The Limbless Knight at GDIF this June. Photo (C) Alison Baskerville.

Ground-breaking Graeae returns to Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) this coming June, for the fifth year with its world premiere of The Limbless Knight - A Tale of Rights Reignited, which reunites the creative team behind The Garden and Against The Tide.

This immersive aerial and sway-pole outdoor production, designed by Sofie Layton, directed by Jenny Sealey and produced in association with Strange Fruit, invites the audience to play extras on a set where nothing is what it seems, as part of Island Life, a free festival in East London’s Tower Hamlets from 21-23 June 2013.

Featuring performers from the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony in a grey, fictional film setting, The Limbless Knight “explores the need to ignite the future at a time when human rights are on the verge of being rewritten, with all the Graeae aesthetics of British Sign Language and audio description embedded within the narrative”.

Director Jenny Sealey said: “Films are in black and white or in colour, but this production is in grey. Post-Paralympics, the world is a different place. It is not only crucial for us to continue to profile the skills of our performers but also time to address the brutal truth of the standing of Deaf and disabled people within the current economic climate.

“Glimmers of humour and hope shine through the darkness of the subject matter because we accept exactly who we are; we are just waiting for the rest of the world to join us.”

This story of sacrifices is inspired by a wish to adapt The Rite of Spring to today’s world and includes the input of six ex-servicemen: Paul Burns, Jack Davies, Steve Gill, Patrick Povis, Jez Scarratt and Matty Woollard.

“Out of this research came the grey stories that need to be told and the desire to create a monument to the living where death will always be present”.

GDIF artistic director Bradley Hemmings said: “GDIF is thrilled to be hosting the premiere of this new outdoor Graeae show at the festival’s free Island Fair in Tower Hamlets, particularly as it will recapture some of that amazing spirit of 2012 and the Paralympics at this year’s Festival.

“Having been fortunate to have worked with Jenny Sealey as co-director of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, I’ve seen her extraordinary vision, passion and dedication at first hand, and so it’s a great personal pleasure to welcome Jenny and Graeae back to GDIF with what promises to be an exhilarating and emotional rollercoaster for Festival audiences”

To tie in with this new production, funded by City Bridge Trust, Tower Hamlets Borough Council, The Big Lottery, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and Arts Council England and supported by Circus Space, young people from George Green’s School, in East London’s Isle of Dogs, will create performance installations based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Claire Gordan, head of drama at George Green’s School, said: “Our students are conscientious individuals who believe in standing up for the rights of all. The school is in the process of becoming a Rights Respecting School and students here have been looking closely at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has ignited their enthusiasm to ensure that the world becomes a place of equality.”

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival runs from Friday 21 to Saturday 29 June 2013

Graeae show dates: Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June 2013
Times: Friday 2pm & 7.45pm; Saturday 2.15pm & 6.40pm; Sunday 1pm & 4pm
Venue: Island Life festival, Island Gardens, Saunders Ness Road, Tower Hamlets, London E14
Admission: free