British Queen celebrates


A vibrant outdoor festival is making its comeback to the Royal Docks this July, promising a lively lineup of circus acts and theatre performances.

Produced by Certain Blacks, an art development organization from east London, the Ensemble Festival is scheduled for July 20 and 21 along Western Gateway at Royal Victoria Docks. This free event is set to showcase a variety of entertainment including circus acts, street theatre, live music, and dance routines.

Among the highlights, attendees can anticipate the thrilling performances of NoFit State Circus, a renowned UK contemporary circus troupe, presenting their acts on towering bamboo structures. Returning to the festival is Gorilla Circus, known for their dynamic blend of acrobatics, street dance, and roller skating on a giant moving treadmill.

The festival will kick off with Theatre company Cardboard Citizens presenting the Cardboard Citizens Collective Youth Programme, followed by JW3's homage to an east London working-class tradition with the Great Yiddish Parade. Additionally, commissioned emerging artists from the UK and beyond will contribute to Ensemble's outdoor spectacle.

Celebrating its fifth edition, Ensemble Festival originated as part of Newham’s Join the Docks Festival in 2019. With steadfast support from Royal Docks and participation in the Without Walls consortium, Certain Blacks has expanded and diversified the festival annually, including adapting to a Covid-safe format in 2021.

Clive Lyttle, artistic director of Certain Blacks, expressed enthusiasm for this year's lineup, emphasizing the festival's mission to elevate diverse artists from the margins to the mainstream. "We're thrilled by the imagination, diversity, and sheer artistry of this year's lineup," Lyttle said. "The public realm will be enriched by the creativity of these transformative experiences."

Lyttle extended gratitude to the Royal Docks team and various contributors who have helped make Ensemble Festival possible, inviting audiences to join in the excitement. For performance schedules and exact locations, visit Photo by Romazur, Wikimedia commons.