Dido’s Bar opens at The Factory on September 23rd


Dido’s Bar opens at The Factory on September 23rd

Something exciting is happening at The Factory, a new creative and cultural space adjacent to Tate & Lyle’s refinery in the Royal Docks. Better known for manufacturing sugar, this month the space is being used to make a brand-new theatre performance called Dido’s Bar.

Produced by award winning arts organisation Dash Arts, and with an international creative team, Dido’s Bar incorporates music and myth in an immersive site-specific gig theatre production that reimagines Virgil's Aeneid, exploring this timeless tale of migration. The production is set in a music club on the edge of town, frequented by outcasts and travellers, artists and bohemians, gods and mortals. Nightly, the divine owners of Dido’s Bar Juno and Venus host world-class artists on stage, and around these performances a drama unfolds…

Incorporating themes of migration, love and assimilation, Dido’s Bar is partly inspired by the experience of Kurdish Iranian musician Marouf Majidi when he was given asylum in Finland, who described an acute sense of being “out of tune” with local musicians in Helsinki. With Marouf Majidi, other creative team members include acclaimed playwright Hattie Naylor, Dash Arts’ Artistic Director Josephine Burton and a cast of musicians and performers from around the globe.

Dido’s Bar is part of a new programme of work called Royal Docks Originals. Key to the Royal Docks Team’s Cultural Placemaking Strategy, Royal Docks Originals supports new work made in the area that responds to its people and place. Drawing on the richness of local influences and stories, Dido’s Bar was conceived over a series of workshops and residencies, including conversations with local residents with experience of migration. The show also involves talented local musicians who will perform in interval slots during the performance, and local residents who will staff the show each evening.

Dido’s Bar is the first new play hosted at The Factory, which opened earlier this year after receiving support from the Royal Docks Team’s Good Growth Fund in 2021. Providing much needed creative workspace, venues and studios, The Factory supports the Royal Docks Team’s ambitions for the area to become London’s Cultural Engine – a new cultural quarter with a focus on providing world-class production facilities.

Dido’s Bar will premiere at The Factory on 23 September and runs to 8 October, with two further showings on 14 and 15 October. It then tours in the UK to Manchester, Leicester, Portsmouth and Oxford. There are reduced price tickets for Royal Docks and Newham residents – with some tickets less than £8 – tickets can be found on the link below.

You can find out more about the event and how to purchase tickets by visiting https://royaldocks.london/whats-on/didos-bar.

Dido’s Bar is produced by Dash Arts with imPOSSIBLE Producing and has been created for the Royal Docks.

Dido's Bar is co-produced with the Royal Docks Team, OCM (Oxford Contemporary Music), and Journeys Festival International and co-commissioned by OCM, with additional support from Arts Council England, Backstage Trust, The Foyle Foundation, Projekt, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation, Genesis Foundation, Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland, The Marchus Trust, TINFO – Theatre Info Finland, Austin and Hope Pilkington, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, The Leche Trust and individual donors.