Ensemble Festival

At the Docks

Ensemble Festival

Ensemble Festival 2024 is back for a fifth edition!

Presented in partnership with Certain Blacks and Without Walls, this year's festival deliver a programme of national and international work.

Royal Docks audiences are set to experience the celebrated feats of NoFit State Circus, one of the UK’s most treasured contemporary circus companies, creating and performing their signature stunts on towering structures built entirely from bamboo.

Following a dazzling display last year, Gorilla Circus are back for 2024 with their new show combining acrobatics, street dance and roller skating, performed on a giant moving treadmill.

Renowned theatre company Cardboard Citizens present their Collective Youth Programme after JW3 and the Great Yiddish Parade pay homage to an East London working class tradition as part of the festival opener.

All of this and much more at Ensemble Festival’s outdoor extravaganza featuring emerging artists from the UK and beyond.

Full line-up

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 July

Cardboard Citizens Collective Youth Programme (Saturday only) 4pm

A music and live events programme for those aged 16-25 with lived experience and/or at risk of homelessness and poverty. This performance showcases some of the local young people the collective has been working with.

Life's A Beach – Joli Vyann

Set across 3 locations, an audience interactive, fun, and playful observation of family life at the beach, with darker undertones, using a unique style of dance and circus fusion.

Island Storm – Bureau of Silly Ideas 1.15pm and 4pm

A circus and comedy circle show presented by two performers and a visible technician set in a salvaged arcade. Coastal erosion has caused the loss of an amusement arcade. The surviving family members are now touring with what they can salvage and making a living inland

Now I am become deaf (Destroyer of Words) – Tit for Tat Circus 1.15pm and 4.45pm

A one-man comedy and circus show that celebrates a deaf artist and their desire to connect with others. With world-acclaimed hat juggling skills, visually large ladder-balancing stunts, eccentric juggling styles and clowning – the show aims to be dynamic, entertaining, and sincere.

J Great Yiddish Parade 1.30 pm (Sunday only)

A marching, musical creation bringing together an awesome Klezmer big band, singers, street theatre, & public participation against a backdrop of the immigrant social protests of the Victorian East End, showcasing Yiddish language, music & culture.

Uroboros – La Casa Oscura (Catalunya) 1.45pm and 3.45pm

Combining contemporary dance and physical theatre, two performers take a journey through the cycle of life. Universal themes and intensity of movement are offset by emotional tenderness and a sense of fun from this exciting duo, who are based between Catalonia and Italy.

Anchored in Air – Head Over Wheels 2pm and 5pm

An aerial theatre show by a trio of disabled and non-disabled performers. This debut show is a mesmerizing fusion of circus, dance, text and live music, taking audiences on a thrilling journey into the world of flying wheelchairs, integrated audio description, gravity-defying acrobatics, and the captivating challenge of navigating a colossal tower. Using aerial, dance, spoken text and live music, the trio explore themes of isolation, collaboration, struggle, and rewards.

Closer to My Dreams – Chad Taylor 2.15pm and 5.15pm

The journey of two young black brothers from inner-city Manchester, describing their trials and tribulations to pursue their dream of becoming professional dancers. Will they succeed with the odds stacked against them?   The show weaves poetry and rap with Hip Hop choreography.

RPM – Gorilla Circus 2.30pm and 5.30pm

A mesmeric new show combining exhilarating acrobatics, adrenaline-pumping street dance and breath-taking roller skating, set on a giant moving treadmill! RPM explores the tragic, comic, and absurd aspects of modern society. Has this country ever confronted its colonial past?

The Mod Father – Stompy 3pm and 6pm

A walkabout act with a specially modified Zimmer frame, complete with speakers, soundtrack and an old parker-clad mod in the frame!

Bamboo – NoFit State Circus 3.15pm and 6.15pm

A spectacular new high-impact, high-skill outdoor circus production using only bamboo and human bodies - revealing the fragility and beauty of our interconnected and interdependent life on this planet.

Time & date

20 - 21 July 2024

Location

Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, London E16 1FA (outside Good Hotel)

Tickets

Free
Book tickets

For your visit

Food & Drink

Fox@ExCeL

Relaxed pub sprawling across different rooms of an old tobacco warehouse.

Royal Victoria Dock
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Food & Drink

Al Masar

Hot and cold Lebanese mezze dishes on are on the menu here, alongside grilled meat. BYO, no cover charge.

Royal Victoria Dock
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Community

London Borough of Newham

The dockside HQ of Newham Council.

Royal Albert Dock
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