Olympic festival line-up announced

Olympic festival line-up announced

You thought it was only about sport, but the 2012 London Olympics wants to show it has much more to wow the crowds. Its organising committee has announced a country-wide programme of cultural events to suit even the most discerning lover of all things artistic.

The Olympic organising committee plans to offer Britain – and its international visitors – a plethora of inspiring activities and events next summer. The 12-week nationwide celebration will showcase some of the best and most imaginative talent in the literary, film, theatre, music, dance and art world, with a dazzling repertoire of participants.

Leading the pack in the London 2012 Festival is BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Cate Blanchett, who is making a rare performance in Botho Strauss’s Gross Und Klein at the Barbican Centre. Jude Law will make an appearance as ambassador for the Peace One Day concert on 21 September – which aims to highlight World Peace Day 2012 – and Tracy Emin, Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst are amongst numerous artists either being the subject of exhibitions or commandeering their own.

More than 100 portraits by Lucian Freud will grace the National Portrait Gallery; while ‘Britain Creates 2012’, a project by the London Mayor and the British Fashion Council, will feature some of the UK’s most prominent designers including Christopher Kane, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney.

In theatre land, Shakespeare will be revered by numerous theatre companies and amateurs alike, staging their own versions of the playwright’s classics throughout castles, parks, village halls and churches, as well as a new Welsh translation of The Tempest.

Robert Wilson’s and Philip Glass’s opera Einstein on the Beach will make its UK debut at the Barbican in May, and French street art company Les Commandos Percu (pictured) will bring their pyrotechnics to Lake Windermere in the Lake District in June to coincide with the arrival of the Olympic torch at Windermere.

Music highlights include a swing symphony performing the history of jazz, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela playing against the backdrop of Stirling Castle, and The Kronos Quartet’s gig in Glasgow.

The festival will run between 21 June and 9 September 2012. For the full programme of events see the London 2012 Festival website.

Stay in style during the Olympics

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