Voila! is back for its fifth year and stronger than ever, as Voila! Europe: more Shows, more Venues and more Languages!
To give pan-European theatre makers a focus in London. But more than that, because we believe in language as culture and culture as change.
For The Cockpit, culture is about change and adaptation, rather than fixed ideas and identities. Think of culture as an active verb rather than a static noun – a living process of increase, adjustment and growth – and you’ll get the picture. We promote theatre of ideas and disruptive panache because it helps positive change happen. Slow enough, small enough, in bite-size chunks: so it’s exciting – not just shocking; and human-sized from the grass-roots up; not massive, sudden, inflicted and catastrophic. (As much current change is turning out to be. Agree?)
And that means us reaching beyond boundaries – including language barriers. Because at the centre of culture is language; and languages are living processes for discovering the world and connections within it. Not just museums of words. While culture is our process of development and survival – not just some stagnant idea of what’s normal we are supposed to guard from the present. So what was Voila! (French) is now broadening out to encompass other languages across Europe. And in later years probably beyond… From English to French, to Serbo-croat, to Esperanto, to Pidgin. To Martian….
So this year Voila! Europe includes shows at The Etcetera in Camden and Applecart Arts in Newham as well as at The Cockpit in Marylebone. Thirty shows. In multiple languages. Including good and bad language. We believe in bad language too.
As the European Festivals Association say, “Voila! Europe clearly has an imaginative and energetic approach to presenting international work in an urban festival setting; from its initial aims it has proved itself to be responsive, quirky and, risk-taking“.
We are proud to be supported by the European National Institutes for Culture, The French Institute, The Belgium Wallonia institute, the Hungarian Institute and to receive the central support of City of Westminster College (the most diverse FE College in London).
Voila! Or “”~ #*, as they say in Martian.