Voila! Europe is produced by The Cockpit with the support of United Colleges Group. Voila! Festival started at The Cockpit in 2012 as a French-English bilingual festival, and returns every November to the venue, a 'theatre of ideas and disruptive panache.'
Director Dave Wybrow says:
"Our best future will depend upon our ability to make the most unlikely connections.
Our old assumptions of shared interests, common goals and cultural similarity will not be enough to defend our rights or shape our seismic new age. Division, polarisation and extremist mind-creep are being promoted. Social gains are being eroded. Old progressive alliances are having to find new power-bases and fresh collaborators. The cross border challenges we face from climate change to terrorism to globalised consumerism to people on the move require deepening cross border cooperation, not retreats behind walls. And many of us know too that we are part of a growing international tribe of people that see ourselves defined by the just, egalitarian, planet-loving future we long for, rather than by our nationality, or our ethnicity, or our sex.
Which is why The Cockpit continues to help produce and support Voila Europe. Not because it brings together a glossy selection of designer theatre for an elite market but because it brings together people who have something to say and are driven to say it before a live, engaged audience. Not because they all speak the same language and can take a good reception for granted, but specifically because they don't. And won't.
Because our best future will depend upon our ability to make unlikely connections."
The Balassi Institute Hungarian Cultural Centre London organises and supports innovative programmes to promote Hungarian art and artists in the UK. In 2019, the HCC supported one of Budapest's cutting edge theatre companies, STEREO AKT, to present their show European Freaks at Voila Festival. Following the success of this collaboration, the HCC will support a second Hungarian show as part of Voila's 2020 programme - a filmed version of K2 Theatre's Farewell Concert will be available to view online throughout this year's festival.
The Italian Cultural Institute in London is the official Italian governmental body dedicated to promoting Italian language and culture in England & Wales. The Institute organises concerts, cultural events and exhibitions, offers Italian languages courses, and encourages cultural and scientific collaboration between Italy and England & Wales. In 2020, the ICI is collaborating with Voila! to feature the two performances Diary of an Expat: Reloaded by Paper Smokers/ Fumatori di Carta and “Bingo!” by Karavan Ensemble & Silvia Mercuriali.
Français a Londres is a website that unites the French-speaking community in London. They're brilliant at helping us to cultivate more European theatre-lovers.
OffWestEnd is the network of over 100 independent, fringe & alternative theatres across London, promoting and celebrating the work of these theatres, including through a number of awards. Shows with “full runs” are eligible for the Offies awards, which cover around 25 categories. In addition, there is the OffComm award for “short runs,” and the OffFest, which is available to theatre festivals. The OffFest was launched in 2019 as an award for theatre shows at the Camden Fringe Festival and the Voila Europe Festival.
In keeping with the community spirit of Voila, our OffFest award nominations come from our network of European artists, including the companies involved in the current festival and alumni of previous Voila! festivals.
In 2019 the Off Fest award recognised:
Winner: Napoli 44 by Lavinia Carpentieri / Compagnia Francesca Caprioli
Nominee: I Will Tell You In a Minute by Nuna Livhaber
Nominee: We Must Live by The Pushkinettes
FISICO (Alba International Physical Theatre Festival) takes place in the beautiful city of Alba, Northern Italy. The aim of the festival is to promote physical theatre in its various forms displaying shows with almost no, or very limited, verbal interaction which have the potential of attracting audiences from all over the world. Furthermore, the festival intends to be a hub for programmers specifically interested in physical theatre performances.
VOILA! EUROPE: WIEN
One day, Voila! Europe will be a network of festivals around the continent, where artists can develop and tour multilingual, multicultural, multidisciplinary theatre. Our first step in realising this vision is a new partnership with theatre makers Petra Freimund and Andrija Repec, to produce a sister festival in Vienna in 2021.
Petra & Andrija, artistic directors of VOILA! Europe Wien, say:
"In uncertain times like these, when we do not know yet what the future may hold, we are building bridges and looking for silver linings. That is why we founded ’VOILA! Europe Wien’, an Austrian registered theatre society, to stay connected with the UK despite whatever Brexit may bring. For us, devised and physical theatre open up opportunities to develop storytelling in a visceral way, not necessarily dependent on language."
Watch this space!
Joining Voila! Europe for the first time in 2019, Rich Mix hosted performances in their Studio and in their flexible Mix space. The venue also supported three Voila companies to develop new works in residence at Rich Mix which premiered at our festival.
Josh McNorton, head of programmes, said:
“Rich Mix was founded in 2006 to develop and showcase the multi-cultural creative communities of east London and we are honoured to be partnering with Voila! this year to host seven shows from European artists. It’s now more important than ever for audiences and venues to support the boundary-less power of live performance and Voila! showcases this beautifully.”
THE ACTORS CENTRE
In April 2019, we created a new festival called A Piece of the Continent with the Tristan Bates Theatre at the Actors Centre.
Programme Coordinator Will Mytum said:
“A Piece Of The Continent was created to offer a platform of visibility and opportunity for European artists, who may feel a sense of alienation in the aftermath of Brexit and the antagonistic rhetoric that has followed. The incredible quality of the companies participating in the festival is a testament to how valuable European work is to the fabric of UK’s theatre scene. Anyone questioning the value of collaboration with our European neighbours should come and try a Piece of the Continent!’
We're always happy to hear ideas for new partnerships! Please contact festival directors Sharlit Deyzac & Amy Clare Tasker at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We look forward to connecting with you!