SPILL Festival of Performance 2011

Barbican, April 18-24, 2011

The SPILL Festival of Performance is back in April 2011 making full use of the Barbican with a dynamic programme of events. Continuing the momentum of 2009’s extensive line-up, this biennial festival of experimental theatre and live art is renowned and recognised as one of the most highly anticipated artist-led events on the international performance calendar.


Initiated in 2007 by UK based artist/performer Robert Pacitti, SPILL features world premieres and SPILL commissions, showcasing a combination of established and emerging artists during the festival’s week-long run.   This year’s festival has been curated by Pacitti around notions of ‘infection’:


“Performance presents us with multiple layers of data (ideas, images, sensory prompt, and/or politic), but how do we, the audience, receive these live transmissions?  Does information simply arrive in straight lines, instantly making the same sense to each of us?  Or does it cross-pollinate with our own individual experiences, contaminating each personal reading to form new hybrid knowledge?


I am delighted that this year SPILL is taking place in partnership with the Barbican. Amongst the programme are six world premieres, four SPILL commissions, large stage works, small delicate interventions, a SPILL Thinker in Residence, talks, salons, film, music and even a backstage feast - It’s going to be a radical Easter.  SPILL spreads like a virus through the whole of the Barbican Centre - Be sure to catch it”.


The inaugural SPILL Festival was the first London-wide programme dedicated to live art and experimental performance.  Both in 2007 and 2009, overwhelming attendance confirmed the demand for such work to be experienced by audiences across the board, and SPILL’s dynamic 2011 programme of events include some of the most innovative, challenging and exciting performance in the world today.







SPILL Festival of Performance - 2011 Programme:


Ryoji Ikeda (Japan)  datamatics [ver.2.0]  

The latest audiovisual concert in Japanese electronic music composer/ visual artist Ryoji Ikeda’s datamatics series‚ datamatics (ver.2.0) is an art project exploring the potential to perceive invisible multi–substances of data permeating our world.

Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space in a powerful and breathtakingly accomplished work. The technical dynamics of the piece, such as its extremely fast frame rates and variable bit depths, continue to challenge and explore the thresholds of our perceptions.


18 April 2011, 7.30pm, Barbican Hall

Tickets £12.50/15/20

Harminder Judge (UK)  Do What Thou Wilt

World Premiere

A SPILL Commission

Do What Thou Wilt delves into the darker side of divinity and its influence on popular culture. Taking his title from 20th Century occultist Aleister Crowley, Harminder Singh Judge draws upon influences from Norwegian black metal and British heavy metal to literature and film, providing the core mantra for creation of this brand new work.


Exploring the enduring appeal of spirituality, pop culture, and the marketing techniques driving religious theory into mainstream consciousness, Harminder Singh Judge creates interdisciplinary artwork exploring the enduring appeal of spirituality and the space it inhabits, both physical and metaphorical, in a post-modern and largely secular society..


Judge has created and shown work for the Art, Lifestyle & Globalisation symposium at Tate Modern, Arnolfini Bristol, The European Performance Art Festival at the Centre for Contemporary Arts Poland, Ikon Gallery Birmingham and the National Review of Live Art at Tramway Glasgow.  He has had recent solo exhibitions at the New Art Exchange Nottingham and 198 Contemporary Arts London.


18 – 20 April 2011, 7.45pm (9.15pm on 18 Apr), The Pit circa 60 mins

Tickets £12  Age guidance 15+



Rajni Shah Projects (UK) Glorious  

World premiere

A SPILL Commission

Rajni Shah and company will perform with students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama plus local residents in this haunting and unusual new musical, which will be reinvented at each location later in the year when it tours the UK.  Members of the local community work with the company to create this event.


Glorious explores the spaces of both fear and hope that have emerged as a result of an increased awareness towards climate change, shifts in border policies, and the dramatic impact of the financial collapse. At a time when many people feel disempowered and frustrated, this production beautifully embraces a sense of hope in an unknown future.


19 – 21 April 2011, 7.30pm, Silk Street Theatre (1pm on 21 Apr)

105 mins    £16  Age guidance 15+



Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio/Romeo Castellucci (Italy) – The Minister’s Black Veil

Romeo Castellucci returns to the Barbican with a haunting new work. As an uncompromising theatre maker, he creates work that is at once beautiful, powerful and at times unsettling to watch. Together with Societas Raffaello Sanzio, this visionary director continues to inspire.

In 2009, the Barbican and SPILL co-commissioned the UK premiere of Castellucci’s Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso – Based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Freely inspired by the story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne.


21 – 23 April, 7.45pm, Barbican Theatre circa 90 mins

Tickets £16-28  Age guidance 15+



SPILL Feast – 22 April 2011, 1pm - Barbican Theatre

Join SPILL on Good Friday for a special feast backstage at the Barbican. The meal provides an opportunity for audience members to eat, drink and chat with artists from the SPILL programme in a relaxed and easy manner. Places are strictly limited so guests are advised to book early. The menu is a two course vegetarian meal.

Exclusive backstage location, 1pm, 120 minutes

Tickets £10  Age guidance 15+



SCHREI 27 - A film by Davide Pepe and Diamanda Galás (US/Italy) based on Diamanda Galás' radio and performance work Schrei 27

World premiere

Diamanda Galás is known for her arresting concert performances and has appeared at the Barbican Hall on several occasions. SPILL and the Barbican are proud to present this important installation which deals with asylum institutionalisation, originally commissioned by New American Radio, and created with Italian filmmaker Davide Pepe.


Several short performances over the space of twenty-seven minutes alternate extreme high-energy vocal work with absolute silence. These reflect the state of a patient subjected to torture through chemical or mechanical manipulation of the brain, kept in a confined space with periodically or randomly triggered bright light, heat, beatings or rapes.  There is a high density of speech-sound over time which is often machine-like in its velocity. The work employs the atypical speech and vocal signal processing that Galás has been researching since 1979.


22 – 23 April 2011, 1pm each day, 27 min slots, Silk Street Theatre

Tickets £5  Age guidance 15+



Double Bill:


Kings of England (UK)

In Eldersfield – Chapter 1: Elegy for Paul Dirac

A SPILL Commission

World premiere

In Eldersfield is a ten-chapter cycle of works for the 20th century, to which we are no longer beholden but will always belong. Against a culture of lessening means and receding hopes, we raise the toast (again): to Dead Dogs, Dead Children, Dead Lovers, Dead Heroes, and how good it is to be alive. Kings of England were part of the SPILL National Platform showcase of emerging talent in 2009.




Sylvia Rimat (Germany / UK) - I guess if the stage exploded…..

World premiere

A SPILL Commission

Performance artist Sylvia Rimat follows the aspirational and possibly impossible goal to create a show never to be forgotten by audience members.  By presenting memory tasks and techniques, the audience will systematically be trained to remember. 'Never Forget Me' draws on presence and sight, on what happens in our brain when we create memories and our urge to be special and forever commemorated. Sylvia was part of the SPILL National Platform showcase of emerging talent in 2009.



22 – 23 April 2011, 3pm, The Pit,

Tickets £12  Age guidance 15+



SPILL Think Tank:


Helen Cole (UK)

We See Fireworks

We See Fireworks is a performance archive of audience voices. A curated programme of memories whispered softly into the darkness, and spinning stories as if the moment were still unfolding.


Over 250 recordings reveal the evocative memories of performative moments. These words sear into one’s consciousness, until these deepest memories become personal.


They talk of religious ceremonies, accidents, lovers’ meetings, loss, homesickness, adolescence, fair grounds, car parks, fetish clubs and school halls.


“Helen Cole’s Fireworks, is a performance archive and an archive-performance as simple as it is brilliant, exemplifying the opening possibilities of a new form: no stage, no performers, but a deeply meaningful experience”.  Realtime, Australia


18 – 23 April 2011, Barbican public spaces, see website for timings




SPILL Think Tank:


SPILL Tarot Exhibition (International)


In 2009, Pacitti Company commissioned a collaboration between photographer Manuel Vason, designer Justin Weyers and 22 contemporary mavericks to each restage a tarot card. The result is a limited edition SPILL Tarot Pack. The images feature Ron Athey, Marisa Carnesky, Franko B, Raimund Hoghe, Robert Pacitti, Lois Keidan, Lee Adams, Carla Esperanza Tommasini, Sheila Ghelani, Oreet Ashery, Rajni Shah, Noblesse Oblige, Vaginal Davis, Grace Ellen Barkey, Harminder Judge, Kira O'Reilly, Helena Hunter, Empress Stah, Dominic Johnson, Julia Bardsley, Manuel Vason and Yann Marussich.


This exhibition is a large format photographic display of the full deck of cards: 22 Major Arcana images, and the uncut printers’ sheets of the Minor Arcana.


18 – 23 April, Barbican public spaces, see website for timings




SPILL Thinker-in-Residence – Oreet Ashery

The SPILL Thinker-In-Residence returns for 2011, supporting an outstanding individual in taking the long view of the entire festival in order to respond in ways that can spark discussion and debate. For Spill 2011, Oreet Ashery will write texts for the festival website and host salons; discursive spaces for audiences to discuss the work in SPILL in dialogue with people from other territories and disciplines.

Oreet Ashery is a London based, context-responsive, visual artist working in live art, performance, digital media, images, writing and objects. Work looks at personal politics and their complex relationship to social realities. Ashery’s work tends to be complex, but at the same time humorous and accessible to a wide variety of audiences and communities. (Inter-disciplinary Visual Artist and SPILL Thinker in Residence),


Further details to follow via the SPILL Festival website.



SPILL National Platform 2011 – National Theatre Studio


Organised by Pacitti Company, makers of SPILL Festival of Performance and supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


The fesival delighted to announce the return of the SPILL National Platform thanks to the support of Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the National Theatre Studio.


Emerging artists throughout the UK are being invited to submit proposals for new work to be shown at the National Theatre Studio over Easter Weekend, 23 and 24 April 2011, further details to follow via the SPILL website.


Twelve artists will be selected by a panel that includes Robert Pacitti, Lois Keidan (Director, Live Art Development Agency), Shonagh Manson (Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation), Oreet Ashery, Mamoru Iriguchi (zoologist and self-taught performance maker) and Matt Ball (Director, Camden People’s Theatre)




Also Spill Festival presents a specially curated film evening


Saturday April 23

Double Trouble

Barbican Film presents a late night double bill of cult 1950s science fiction cinema exploring the era's paranoid obsession with invasion as part of this year's SPILL Festival, an international programme of experimental theatre, live art and performance spreading throughout the whole of the Barbican Centre and beyond.

9.00pm - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (PG) (US 1956 Dir. Don Siegel 80 min)
Introduced by SPILL Festival curator Robert Pacitti.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic in the genre of films that play out cultural anxieties around the idea of becoming first tainted and then subsumed by an unseen force, in this case communism. A small town doctor returns to find a rash of patients suffering the paranoid delusion that some of the townsfolk have been replaced by impostors. Initially diagnosing “epidemic mass hysteria”, he soon begins to think that they might be right. The studio imposed a lighter ending on director Don Siegel but the film still features a dog with a man’s head.

11.00pm - The Blob (12) (US 1958 Dir. Irvin Yeaworth 86 min)
Another manifestation of cultural anxiety played out as body panic, with that body being both individual and collective here. In this film the threat is an external amorphous mass, a giant amoeba-like alien that terrorizes the small community of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.  Made outside the Hollywood system, The Blob launched the careers of superstud Steve McQueen and composer Burt Bacharach with the tongue-in-cheek theme song “Beware the Blob”.


Standard: £10.50 / £8.50 online
Members: £8.50 / £6.50 online
Concessions: £7.50


Barbican Cinema 1


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For further information please contact Anna Goodman on 0207 834 0440 or abstrakt@abstraktpublicity.co.uk