Between June 23 and July 8 2017 Greenwich and its surrounding area will be flooded with colourful performances as part of London's biggest celebration of outdoor theatre, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. Most events are free, so pick one you like the sound of from our festival listings below or just head down there to see what you can find – and if you prefer your theatre performances with a roof over your head, check out latest London theatre reviews or our top ten new theatre shows for some more inspiration this summer.
GDIF 2017 event highlights
Greenwich and Docklands Fest makes a rare move into staging 'proper drama' with this updated version of Arthur Miller's classic play. His story of Brooklyn dockworkers will be given new relevance in a staging that puts it slap bang in the middle of Greenwich's riverscape
A calvalcade of glowing white horses will parade through the streets in 'FierS à Cheval', part of Greenwich and Docklands Festival's annual influx of lavish outdoor spectacle. These giant puppet-costume hybrids are the handiwork of French outdoor theatre specialists Compagnie des Quidams, who make dreamlike, playful night-time shows.
The colourful, raucous and completely free two-day showcase of theatre, dance, and fun and games returns to Greenwich on June 23-25 2017 as part of the Greenwich and Docklands International festival (GDIF). UK and international companies will take over Old Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark Gardens with a riot of family-friendly outdoor events. This year's Greenwich Fair line-up is full of free fun and games, including 'VR Playground', which'll take you on a virtual reality fairground ride, and the retro gaming inspired art piece 'The Actual Reality Arcade'. There's also tons of quirky contemporary dance, like 'Culinary Duel', performed by two dancers and an electric cooker. Watch out for alternative LGBT Pride events, like 'Ida Barr's Lost Pubs'. And kids will be entranced by family shows like 'Flit, Flap and Fly', or 'Baba Yaga's House'. See the full programme on the GDIF website. Click here to go to our Greenwich and Docklands hub for more information on this 2017's festival.
Greenwich will be illuminated by the light of a giant, inflatable silvery moon thanks to Luke Jerram's touring artwork. 'Museum of the Moon' is a seven metre wide, glowing sculpture with NASA-inspired detail on its surface. Enjoy it to the strains of a specially-designed soundtrack by composer Dan Jones.
Take the whole family outdoors for this magical free show. Giant light-up puppets from Germany will tell a story of togetherness and friendship with a storming drum soundtrack from Worldbeaters. Accompanied by their West African-inspired rhythms, Dundu's 'Sense of Unity' takes the form of a procession down Bow's Roman Road.
Take a tilted trip round the streets of Thamesmead with this promenade dance show. Created for Tilted Theatre by Maresa von Stockert in collaboration with eight performers, it'll make inventive use of outdoor locations, and include surprising vignettes and installation made by the local community.
This dance piece will be performed in the appropriately military setting of a bombed out church, opposite Woolwich Barracks. '5 Soldiers' is Rosie Kay's exploration of the impact of warfare on the body, based on a period of research Kay undertook out on training manouevres with 4th Battalion The Rifles. It's a hard-hitting work that sees the physical realities of conflict from the point of view of five soldiers – the boredom, the endurance, the exhaustion and the adrenaline. '5 Soldiers' is being performed in a special outdoor version as part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2017.
Giant wheels of colour will fill the streets of Woolwich in this kaleidoscopic closing parade for Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. It's the creation of French outdoor theatre masters Compagnie Off, who'll set their technicolour celebration of inclusiveness to an eclectic, Indian-influenced soundtrack by composer Shri Sriram.