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From the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, to the remotest corner of the Shetland Islands, from the Raploch Estate in Scotland to Hadrian’s Wall on England’s most Northern border, from Stonehenge to the shores of Lake Windermere, from the forests of North Wales and right into the heart of the capital, the London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world- class culture, and give the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


The World Shakespeare Festival is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe.

Supported by Founding Presenting Partner BP, the World Shakespeare Festival is bringing together thousands of artists and over 50 arts organisations to present major new productions, groundbreaking collaborations and radical interpretations of Shakespeare’s work.

Productions will be presented by companies including the Wooster Group (USA), Ninagawa Company (Japan), National Theatre of China (China), Iraqi Theatre Company (Iraq), Companhia BufoMecânica (Brazil), Vakhtangov Theatre (Moscow), Artistes, Producteurs, Associés (Tunisia), and Teatr Warszawa (Poland). The BBC will present a new series of television productions.


Dr Dee, written and performed by Blur and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn and directed by Rufus Norris. Co- commissioned by the London 2012 Festival, Manchester International Festival and English National Opera.

World Cities 2012 from Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, a series of works by the great German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009, will be presented at Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican with 10 back-to-back works created in response to commissions from cities and countries she visited throughout her long career.

Big Dance is the world’s largest and most influential dance initiative. In 2012, Big Dance will reach across the whole of the UK involving over 5 million people in the experience of dance. Highlights of the programme include a spectacular performance featuring a cast of over a thousand dancers in Trafalgar Square directed by Wayne McGregor on Saturday 14 July 2012 as part of the Big Street Dance Day, and with the British Council an invitation to young people all over the world to join in a global record breaking attempt to be part of the largest multi-location dance routine ever performed.


Daniel Barenboim will bring the West Eastern Divan Orchestra for a complete Beethoven Symphony cycle at the BBC Proms in 2012. This will culminate with a performance of Beethoven 9 on the opening day of the Olympics on 27 July. The concerts in the cycle will also feature significant works by Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential figures in contemporary music for the past sixty years. The full BBC Proms programme will be announced in April 2012.


Large-scale landscape paintings, drawings, films and iPad art are amongst new works by David Hockney that will feature in his major exhibition of landscapes at the Royal Academy of Arts, as one of the Festival’s countdown events in January.

Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery is the most ambitious exhibition of the artist’s work for 10 years. The show spans 70 years and includes more than 100 paintings.



La Compagnie Carabosse, one of France's most important street arts groups, will transform Stonehenge into a glowing fairytale environment with an elemental Fire Garden.

Edinburgh’s dramatic landmark Arthur’s Seat will be brought to life by NVA’s Speed of Light, a light installation combining sport and art that will see thousands of runners activating specially designed light suits to animate the hillside with trails of patterned light as part of Edinburgh International Festival.

The pyrotechnicians and musicians of the French street arts company, Les Commandos Percu will bring the magic of music and fire to the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria in a spectacular outdoor show, On the Night Shift, created especially for the Festival.

In Northern Ireland, internationally renowned German artist Hans Peter Kuhn will transform the The Giant’s Causeway Coast with his project Flags.
Digital projections, sound and an historical building meet in Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger’s new work, Core, the Engine Shop at Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.



BT River of Music welcomes the world to London with a spectacular weekend of free music representing all 205 participating Olympic & Paralympic nations at landmarks along the River Thames. The continents will be represented across six stages located at Battersea Park (Asia stage), Jubilee Gardens (Africa stage), Trafalgar Square and Somerset House (Europe stages), Tower of London (Americas stage), and Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich (Oceania stage).






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