Free doesn’t have to mean cheap: the annual Greenwich and Docklands International Festival from June 20-28 brings together some of the most spectacular outdoor theatre in the world to the streets of London and you don’t have to pay a penny to watch it. There’s a head-spinning amount to choose from, but here are the shows you really don’t want to miss.
What: Three days of circus, theatre, sideshows and general mayhem in this daytime extravaganza that pays homage to the famously unruly Greenwich fairs which were banned in the Victoria era.
Where: Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Fri Jun 20, noon- 10.25pm; Sat Jun 21, 1pm-10.25pm; Sun Jun 22, noon-7.05pm.
What: Aerialists descend upon the audience from psychedelic mobiles suspended high in the air in this stunning – not to mention trippy – new show from Spanish-Argentinian GDIF favourites Voalá.
Where: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Fri Jun 20, 10pm.
What: Wire-suspended performers indulge in seemingly gravity-deftying feats as they run across massive projected houses in a piece satirising our obsession with home ownership.
Where: Haverfield Green, Mile End Park. Sat Jun 21, 10pm.
What: Outdoor dance in all forms – classical to modern, ballet to flamenco – takes over the public spaces of Canary Wharf for a week of lunchtime performances and a big Saturday finale.
Where: Canary Wharf. Mon Jun 23- Jun 27, noon and 1.30pm; Jun 28, 1pm-5pm.
What: A giant winged ship is a symbol of hope in this flame-lit spectacular about people displaced by war from Poland’s Teatr Osmega Dnia, specially staged on the centenary of the assassination of the archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Where: Royal Artillery Square, Woolwich. Jun 28, 10pm.