Voila! Europe is an annual theatre rendez-vous in London, bringing together British and European theatre makers each November. Our curated programme is a border-busting mix of multicultural, multilingual, and multidisciplinary performance.
‘Voila! Europe clearly has an imaginative and energetic approach to presenting international work in an urban festival setting. From its initial aims it has proved itself to be responsive, quirky, and risk-taking.’ - The European Festivals Association
OUR 2020 FESTIVAL
Welcome to Voila! Europe 2.0
Wow, 2020 sure had some bugs - so it’s time for an upgrade! In these extraordinary times, artists have proven their resilience and ingenuity with reimagined productions and new projects in direct response to our changing world. Our home, The Cockpit, has reopened the auditorium safely, as well as adapting and investing in new ways of presenting theatre online. And Voila has found an unexpected opportunity in crisis, to update our operating system with a new festival model that reaches beyond the walls of the theatre, beyond London, and beyond the UK.
Now all we need is you.
We’ve all missed meeting up with friends, chatting to strangers in the lounge, or talking to the artists after the show. That sudden hush as the lights go down, hearing a fellow spectator laughing late at a joke, the moment of suspension after the last line, before we all jump up and applaud at the end. Voila! Europe is a community as much as it is a theatre festival, and we are so excited to welcome you back with four multidisciplinary productions on stage at The Cockpit.
Whether in the venue or online, everything in this year’s festival is LIVE, a shared experience in real time. Our online programme offers one-on-one performances, a bingo game/show, an absurdist concert, puppetry with ‘insubordinate costumes’, gonzo journalism, watch parties and meet-ups with theatre makers.
Without crossing any borders, artists are joining us from Germany, Denmark, France, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the USA, and Hungary (in partnership with the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London). And of course the festival also includes the many European artists living in the UK.
The international possibilities of online theatre are endless - and we’ll especially need those connections in the years to come when Brexit makes travel even more difficult. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that artists are ready to rise to the challenge.
Join us at the theatre in London or online from wherever you are. We can’t wait to see you.
Sharlit Deyzac & Amy Clare Tasker, Voila! Europe festival directors
Dave Wybrow, The Cockpit artistic director
Voila! Europe Theatre Festival is an annual theatre rendezvous in London each November. Since 2012, we have built a reputation for programming a genre-busting mix of multidisciplinary, multilingual & multicultural performance that celebrates the best of British & European emerging artists.
Voila! began as a French & English bilingual fringe festival produced by The Cockpit. In response to Brexit, the 2017 festival expanded to include all European languages, with performances at The Cockpit, Etcetera Theatre, and Applecart Arts.
In 2019, we collaborated with the Actors Centre to present A Piece of the Continent, a new festival in response to Brexit in April. Later that year, Rich Mix invited us to present performances in their Studio and Mix venues during our November festival.
Voila! is a place for artists to take risks. We support individuals and companies to make a daring leap: presenting a new piece of work, touring to a new audience, or translating a play into a new language. Beyond providing a performance platform, we mentor emerging companies, so that their next step can be a step up.
Over the past 7 years, Voila! has supported over 600 artists to present 150 shows, bringing together British artists, UK-based European artists, and artists visiting from abroad.
Some of the highlights:
PSYCHEdelight’s BORDERLINE (2016) is a multilingual satirical comedy about the Calais Jungle, devised with refugees. The show had its first performances at Voila! and went on to be co-produced by Counterpoints Arts. After a revival at The Cockpit in 2017, the show is now touring the UK & Europe. The company has been featured in a documentary by the Guardian, and nominated for MigrationWork’s Community Integration Awards.
French British Improvisation (La FBI) have been part of Voila! since the very beginning. Every year, the troupe brings a new experiment to the festival - whether that's an 'improv match' in the round with the audience deciding the winner (2018), or an improvised romantic comedy (2019).
Paper Smoker's show DIARY OF AN EXPAT began in a Voila! residency at Applecart Arts in 2017, going on to a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe, touring in the UK and Italy, and returning to London in our "A Piece of The Continent" Festival at the Tristan Bates in 2019. The company's next show MILES APART TOGETHER premiered at Voila in 2018 at the Etcetera Theatre, and will be performed again at VAULT Festival when it reopens in 2021.
In 2018, Les Particules received support from the Institut Français du Royaume Uni to create an English translation for their innovative show ROBOLUTION, performed in French with two actors and one robot.
NAPOLI 44 was the inaugural winner of the OFF Fest award in association with OffWestEnd in 2019. With an original bilingual script by Lavinia Carpentieri, the show brought together a cast and creative team from the UK and Italy under the banner of Compagnia Francesca Caprioli.
WHO WE ARE
The Voila! Europe Theatre Festival is made possible by our co-producer The Cockpit, and our partner venue Rich Mix.
Sharlit Deyzac, Director of VOILA! Festival
Amy Clare Tasker, Co-Director of VOILA! Festival
Dave Wybrow, Director of The Cockpit
With special thanks to:
United Colleges Group for their support of The Cockpit.
Theatre Deli for supporting our participating companies.
The Hungarian Cultural Centre London
The French Institute UK
Français à Londres
Tolga Tres of Birds & Dinosaurs Studio for logo and brochure design.
Some productions in the 2019 festival are supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, and Creative Scotland.
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Voila Theatre Festival is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Company number 11384259. 10 Otley Court, Catterick Close, N11 3GD.
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