Public artists and activists Gillie and Marc‘s latest exhibition is coming to the UK – ‘Chimps Are Family’ – bringing to life the expectation that 80% of the 150,000 chimpanzees across the world will face a population decline of 80% over the next 30 years. To coincide with World Endangered Species Day on Friday 20 May 2022, the free public exhibition located at London Bridge City will feature 28 chimps demonstrating 18 different behaviours such as love, grief, and tool use, illustrating the vast similarities between us and the animals with which we share 98% of our DNA. Well-known in London for their recent public sculpture, ‘The Orphans’, a project that brought awareness and much-needed funds to orphaned baby elephants. Gillie and Marc are now moving the spotlight onto chimpanzees and giving the people of London the chance to get up close and personal with our cousins and save them, before it’s too late. The sculptures are designed to be interactive and engaging and the you are encouraged to get as close as you want, touching their faces, examining their hands, and even giving them a hug. Each of the chimps will be displayed with a QR code where you can learn all about the individual chimpanzee and find important information surrounding conservation. You also have the option to donate funds, or even adopt one of the individual statues, to go directly to saving chimpanzees. WWF are working alongside Gillie and Marc to highlight the importance of working together to protect our one shared home. The sculptures will be celebrated with the hashtags #LoveTheLast and #ChimpsAreFamily to raise unparalleled awareness about the exhibition’s cause across the globe. To help protect the great apes, you can support the work of WWF by donation to the campaign: WWF Chimps are Family.
It’s been a long, hard winter, but better times are coming as Summer by the River returns to London Bridge City. Starting on 30 May 2022, it promises to revive weary workers, tourists and locals alike with three months of free entertainment set against stunning views of the capital. Running until 2 September, this year’s festival is bringing 1930s Miami vibes to the banks of the Thames over three locations – The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and The Pier. At The Scoop, Art Deco inspired pop-up bar, The Riverside Terrace, will offer a little slice of South Beach complete with empanadas and piña coladas, while over at The Pier, Taqueria Garcia is bringing the heat with tacos and tequila. London’s largest free festival will celebrate Miami’s infamous party energy across all locations, with an eclectic programme of events that will put smiles on faces of all ages. The programme is themed by day and includes Gospeloke (a karaoke night backed by a live Gospel Choir), Dabbers Bingo (the much-loved game injected with music and performers), Hip Hop Weekender (interactive workshops and dance battles between world-renowned artists), Tears of Jenny Greenteeth (the London debut of a Ballet Folk performance), Twelfth Night (a modern take on the Shakespeare classic – set on Love Island), BBC Introducing (showcasing unsigned artists), Folk and Roots Stage (spotlighting grassroots music talent), Bunker (commissioned for the festival to bring to life WWII stories from local Southwark residents) and Swing Patrol (the well-known dance troupe). The opening week of the festival coincides with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. London Bridge City is one of the Beacon locations, with its ceremonial lighting on Thursday kicking off proceedings. Over four days, the big screen in The Scoop will air all the official celebrations. Set against a backdrop of historic royal buildings, with entertainment including the Tower Ravens Rapper Sword Dancers, Lewis-Merthr brass band and a tea dance led by Swing Patrol, Summer By The River is the perfect place to mark the milestone. Heading into July, the festival will embrace another British institution – Wimbledon – with the screen in The Scoop showing all of the key matches. This is Summer by the River 2022… and you don’t want to miss a beat.
The Enchanted Cinema: Animated Journeys invites you to help two musicians create live FX to award-winning international animation. “It’s just so unique and in a world of CGI and flashy 3D animation, the beautiful, textual, thought provoking world you opened the children up to is very special and memorable.” (Róisín – audience/ participant) Kieron & Gareth will invite you to the front of the Scoop stage to present the sound FX you’ve brought – a forest growing, an ocean, gnashing teeth, a flying horse, a penguin, an owl and a snail (what does a snail sound like, you may ask) – to bring to life the programme of hand-crafted animation from as early as 1926 (as old as the Queen!). Don’t worry if you don’t have an FX instrument to hand, as you have the best FX maker inside you – your voice! 1pm – 2.10pm FREE
There’s plenty of fun on HMS Belfast with free family activities to enjoy. Join in the interactive family activity Sea Legs and travel back to D-Day in 1944 with Family Mission: D-Day Edition. Take part in We Were There: Family Day on Saturday 21 May. From Bridge to Bakery the eyewitnesses and veterans will be sharing their memories of life at sea, and what it was like to grow up during the Second World War. More information here. All activities are drop in and are recommended for families with children aged 7 and over. Activities vary daily, we recommend checking details on arrival.
One of our favourite stories is when a bus jumped over an opening Tower Bridge in December 1952. This feat took place long before video cameras became common so we’ve never seen it on film, until now! Come and join in the family activities at Tower Bridge on Saturday 21 and Tuesday 31 May. Create your own stop-motion animation to take home. Family activities are free with admission, drop in and open to children of all ages but are particularly appropriate for those aged 6 to 10. Where: Inside the Engine Rooms Time: 10am – 4pm When: Saturday 21 and Tuesday 31 May
THE HIT DIGITAL SHOW COMES TO THE STAGE By Justin Audibert Based on an original idea by Samuel Wyer and Justin Audibert Directed by Hannah Quigley 5 STARS THE PERFECT FAMILY SHOW TO GET YOUNGER CHILDREN TALKING AND EXPLORING! A Younger Theatre on the digital show We’re thrilled to announce that our hit digital show for ages 6 – 11 will be adapted for the Unicorn stage in summer 2022. Following the huge success of the digital show and a specially created stage version which toured to London Primary Schools in June 2021, we’re delighted to share this new stage adaptation of Marvin’s Binoculars at our London Bridge home. Marvin loves exploring all the parks around his home in London and finding birds, bugs and animals. On his ninth birthday he’s overjoyed – his very own pair of grown-up, pro binoculars! But then something terrible happens: he loses them, and to get them back, he must face the intimidating park warden. Join Marvin as he discovers wildlife and friendship in the most unlikely places. Touching on themes of racial prejudice, Marvin’s Binoculars is a highly engaging and vibrant show that will inspire children to explore the outdoors in their local green spaces. TICKET INFO £6 – £12 under 18s / £12 – £18 adults Previews 1 – 8 Jun: all tickets £8 under 18s / £10 adults More & tickets
WHEN YOU’RE LITTLE, GETTING DRESSED IS A REALLY BIG DEAL! In this energetic, warm and playfully physical show, we meet a young girl who is obsessed with her very favourite outfits, whatever the weather, despite what her Dad thinks. Get Dressed! is a riotous, fun and touching exploration of the relationship between a child and parent as they negotiate their world together. A play that speaks to children and adults equally, expressing the familiar joys and struggles of family life. TICKET INFO £12 – £14 under 18s / £18 – £20 adults (holiday weekends at top price. Holidays 28 May – 5 Jun) Previews 13 – 19 May: adults £12 / under 18s £10 We have been granted the Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely‘ mark, which certifies that we are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of our staff and audiences. Read more about how we’re keeping you safe in the pandemic. Research and Development in partnership with Body & Soul.
Whether it’s great shows, workshops or guided adventures there’s lots to enjoy across a weekend of family fun, and it’s all FREE. Rap with the Hip Hop gardeners at Plot 17, hide from the Woolf Dogs or play in Midsummerland. There’s lots to enjoy in lovely Potters Fields Park. Sat 23 and Sun 24 July 11am – 5pm Potters Fields Park, SE1 FREE Suitable for up to 12 years Commissioned and produced by Team London Bridge with Potters Fields Park Management Trust.
“THE BEST THING WE HAVE IS OUR IMAGINATION…” Based on the novel by Sally Gardner Adapted for the stage by Jemma Kennedy Directed by Jesse Jones Ages 9-13 The Unicorn is bringing Sally Gardner’s dazzlingly original and award-winning dystopian novel to the stage. Using live drawing, cameras and projection, this world première expresses the world of the book and the extraordinary spirit of its main character, 15-year-old Standish Treadwell. In a sinister 1950s Britain, dark government forces are at work and spies and surveillance are everywhere. Standish tells us his story as he begins to unravel the dark secrets of the violent and oppressive Motherland and form a plan to try save his best friend and uncover the truth, no matter what. I keep wondering what if. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall? What if Hector had never gone looking for it? What if he hadn’t kept the dark discovery to himself? Then I suppose I would be telling another story. The ‘what ifs’ are as boundless as the stars. This is an utterly gripping and deeply moving story for young audiences about protecting the ones you love, and the courage it takes to do the right thing. Tickets and more information
Seed is Circumference’s latest renewable spectacle for the whole family, a positive vision for a greener future featuring aerialists, acrobats and live music. An experiment in ethical production that asks what we stand to gain from a greener future and how we get there, Seed will be made with crowdsourced reused materials and encourage greater connection with our local natural environment in conversation with Bermondsey Street Bees, Potters Fields Park and local tree planting charities. Enjoy some outdoor circus fun, bring a plant, a small disposable object or an item of clothing to incorporate into our growing installation, and plant a seed to take home. This work in progress by Circumference is commissioned by Team London Bridge and presented by Potters Fields Park Management Trust. Supported by Arts Council England. 7 & 8 August Performances 1pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 5pm. Potters Fields Park FREE circumference.org.uk IMAGE: Richard Davenport