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News: Liberty Festival Saturday 30th August 2008

Artsline, 5 August 2008, 22:04

This year's Liberty festival in Trafalgar Square takes place on Saturday 30 August, with an energetic mix of live performance, film and other attractions across several zones, aimed at all Londoners and showcasing the talents of Deaf and disabled people.
 
A highlight will be performances of 'The Medal Ceremony', which brings together the creative skills of Australian street theatre company Strange Fruit and the renowned London based theatre company Graeae. The staging of the show will be timely, coming just a week after the excitement of the Olympic Games in Beijing and a week before the Paralympic Games.
 
You would expect a medal ceremony to involve anthems, tears, euphoria and rivalry and The Medal Ceremony does all of that and more! As well as podiums, medals and flags, festival athletes will tell the story of their triumph over adversity in a show that features Deaf and disabled artists performing alongside non-disabled people.
 
The Medal Ceremony will be a visual treat, as aerial performers perched atop incredible bendy sway poles use sign language interpretation and breathtaking physical performance. Accompanied by torch songs and anthems, this new collaboration brings an inspirational new perspective to traditional medal ceremonies as imagined by Deaf and disabled artists.
 
Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: 'Whether you are disabled or not, the Liberty festival is a terrific day out. It has great live performances and other attractions, which will appeal to everyone. The staging of The Medal Ceremony, which has been acclaimed by those that have already seen it, is also hugely symbolic, with the Paralympic Games around the corner, and with our commitment to ensuring that disabled people will be part of a truly inclusive Games in 2012.'
Speaking about what inspired them to create The Medal Ceremony, Jenny Sealey, joint artistic director with Sue Broadway, says: 'I am delighted to be bringing The Medal Ceremony to Liberty. It has been an extraordinary process uniting a Graeae aesthetic with the Strange Fruit ethos. Embedded within the spectacle of sport entwined with signing and sway poles is the story of the mental and physical preparation of what it is to be human.'
 
For the third year running, the organisers are delighted to announce that Arts Council England will once again be supporting the Liberty festival. This additional investment will allow for further creative development of many of the event zones and the commissioning of more disabled artists and performers than ever before.
 
Liberty is a free event and open to all. It runs from 1pm-6pm, with a range of performance and activity, including: street arts, circus and carnival; comedy and poetry; music and dance; children's arts; stalls and displays.
 
The festival is designed to be accessible to all, with disability awareness trained stewards; information id different formats; BSL interpretation and audio description; induction loops; wheelchair loan service; and free parking nearby for blue badge holders (limited availability, advance booking only; email liberty@london.gov.uk, or call 020 7983 6521).
 
Event:             Liberty
Date:               Saturday 30 August 2008
Time:              1pm-6pm
Location:        Trafalgar Square
Admission:      FREE – ALL WELCOME
Information:   www.london.gov.uk/mayor/equalities/liberty/index.jsp /020 7983 4100

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