Welcome to SPILL 2009

Thu 01 Jan 1970

For three weeks in April SPILL presented the work of exceptional artists and companies from around the world in some of London’s top venues and unusual spaces, including the Barbican, Southbank, National Theatre Studio, Soho Theatre, Shunt Vaults, Shoreditch Town Hall, Greenwich Dance Agency, Laban, Soho Square and Toynbee Studios. Artists in the programme travelled from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the USA and of course from across the UK.

There were almost 100 live performances – including 3 SPILL commissions of brand new work, lots of world premieres – alongside a brand new major National Platform for emerging artists. The SPILL Feasts – a hot ticket in 2007 – were back, and bigger than ever before. A writer’s boot camp trained up a group of novices keen to write about live performance, who went on to share their thoughts on every event in the programme. A ‘Thinker-in-Residence’ looked at some of the over-riding themes within the Festival along with more in-depth writing, as well as convening a series of public salons where experts and aces from a range of different territories discussed relevant issues affecting performance.

Some very special film screenings peppered the festival, and alongside all of this there was the launch of the SPILL Tarot Pack, a limited edition, boxed pack of tarot cards with each image being especially remade and portrayed by a contemporary maverick.

It’s that SPILL time again – expect the unexpected!   

Artistic Director’s statement:

This year the festival has been curated around ideas of ‘agency’. What I mean by this is the ability of each of us to make choices. Every work in the programme, in some way or other, may be viewed through this prism. Some raise questions around how we make choices (or indeed value judgements), others reflect thoughts on how our choices may be imposed on the world. With this in mind we may be provoked to consider issues around responsibility – either individually, or as part of a group – which brings into focus notions of free will, permission to act, and human rights. Of course it is not essential to engage with these ideas to enjoy SPILL. But for those who wish to, the festival will be highlighting some shared threads between aspects of the programme, for you turn over and mull at your leisure, as well as spaces for you to share your thoughts with others.

I hope you enjoy this year’s Festival and warmly welcome each of you to SPILL 2009.

Robert Pacitti
Artistic Director