International Youth Arts Festival 2021

London theatre news: Thursday 24 June 2021

Festivals - Young people

Taking place from 2 to 11 July, the International Youth Arts Festival will include 20 events showcasing young creative talent from Kingston upon Thames and further afield.
International Youth Arts Festival 2021

The past year has been a tough time for live entertainment and arts festivals have similarly been badly hit, having had to postpone or transfer online.

One such festival is The International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) which has been taking place in Kingston since 2009, but last year had to transfer to the online arena as a result of the pandemic.

Though this year's live festival has been scaled back in comparison to previous years and there will be less in-person participation from international partners due to travel restrictions, IYAF 2021 will nonetheless offer a creative reset giving young people chance to claim their space and express themselves after a challenging year.

This year's multi-artform IYAF will take place from 2 to 11 July and will include 20 events showcasing young creative talent from the local area and further afield.

The festival promises something for all ages ...

Highlights include Lost in Translation's Hotel Paradiso, a family friendly show which blends spectacular circus skill, physical comedy and theatrical storytelling in a colourful, loud and hilarious show from renowned international company Lost in Translation.

The show has toured internationally and was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Other productions being staged at Kingston's Rose Theatre include comedy from Bad Clowns, an all-day showcase of dance headlined by hip hop dance group Vital Signz and an array of theatre shows from Full Pelt Theatre, Pound of Flesh and many more, plus a festival celebrating emerging filmmaking talent.

Around Kingston, a number of outdoor events will take from a performance with a giant puppet from award winning Smoking Apples at Canbury Gardens to live music in Kingston Market curated by Sussex-based activist, rapper and singer-songwriter Boudicca.

A series of talks and webinars will be available online, including So You Wanna Work in the Arts? aimed at young people interested in a career in the arts.

And two exhibitions will showcase the work of emerging visual artists.

As you'd expect, audience and participant safety has been at the forefront of festival planning and the festival is set to continue as planned despite the government's recent announcement delaying the easing of restrictions, with socially distanced seating and additional precautionary measures in place.

Cllr Rebekah Moll, Portfolio Holder for Culture at Kingston Council, said ...

"We are excited to be able to welcome back the International Youth Arts Festival this year.

Thank you to everybody who has pulled it together on such short notice, we are very proud to be able to support creative young people in our borough.

We want to remind everyone to continue following rules, so that we can make sure everyone stays safe and is able to enjoy this and other events."

You'll find more details about all the events in the festival here.

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