YOU will laugh, cry, sing and dance and be overcome with awe and that's just on opening night. East London is preparing itself for this year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and organisers say this year is going to be bigger and better than ever. The emphasis will be on discovering east London by using space and venues not normally associated with the arts.

Artistic director Bradley Hemmings said: "We plan to make this festival inescapable.

"We want it to be impossible for people not to be aware of the festival. So we hope to attract people who would not normally go to the theatre through a lot of free events in public spaces."

It will be the fifth year the festival will be presented in its current form after starting out as the Greenwich festival in 1970.

Performances will get into full swing on July 6 with dance shows by a variety of solo artists and troupes at the Cutty Sark Gardens and the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College.

What's on and when

FREE EVENTS

July 6, 8pm-11pm

Tap dance on steel drums by Catalan Camut Band, junk funk by Weapons of Sound, Greenwich Youth Dance Company's new street show, the Laban Institute's Transitions and dances in maritime Greenwich, with fireworks to finish.

Free, Cutty Sark Gardens and the Old Royal Naval College

July, 7, 8, 14, 15, 1pm-10.30pm

French soundscapes, Azerbaijani tightrope, Dutch culinary slapstick, Sarruga's enchanting puppetry and the world premiere of Strange Fruit's Spheres.

Free, Cutty Sark Gardens

July 7, 9pm-10.30pm

Sculptural towers and spectacular pyrotechnics to illuminate every corner of the park.

Free, Mile End Park

July 8, 9.15pm

Eppure Si Muove: A collection of giant sculptures inspired by insects parade along the streets of Deptford.

Free, Deptford High Street, starting from Albany Square

July 12-15

Journeys: Arts Desire and local people come together in open workshops to create a series of aspirational sculptures to welcome visitors to Stratford.

Free, Stratford Station

July 12, 8pm

Strange Fruit's aerial choreography on flexible poles.

Free, Royal Victoria Square, ExCel Conference Centre

July 13, 9pm-10.45pm

Hundreds of glowing firepots in the new landscaped Royal Arsenal, accompanied by strolling street musicians and a breathtaking fireworks finale.

Free admission, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

July 15, 7.30pm-10.30pm

Quay fest: the finale to this year's International Festival.

Free admission, West India Quay

DANCE

July 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 9pm-1am, Fri and Sat, 9pm-midnight

Festival club: relax, have a drink, enjoy a performance experience with a difference and talk into the night.

£4.50 and £3 concessions, Minor Hall at the Greenwich Dance Agency

July 7 and 8, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm

Doubles: Ricochet Dance Company creates a site-specific event within one of the original factory buildings.

£7.50 and £5.50 concessions, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

July 12-15, 9.30pm

Waterwall: Italian dance theatre ensemble Materiali Resistenti Dance Factory an hour-long performance of aerial and acrobatic choreography in the new Thames Barrier Park.

£14 and £12 concessions, Thames Barrier Park

July 13, 9.30pm

Caliente: An urban dance theatre performance presented on board a 14m long trailer.

Free, Chrisp Street Market

MUSIC

July 6-8, various times

Jazz on the Line: celebration of live jazz at pubs, clubs and hotels across Greenwich.

Various locations

July 7, 7.30pm

Rhythms of Africa: Soweto String Quartet, mix classical and contemporary compositions.

£16, £13, £7 and £3 concessions for top two prices, Old Royal Naval College Chapel

July 7, 7.45pm

Chick Corea Trio: the Legendary pianist plays with his consummately balanced trio in an exclusive London concert.

£17.50 plus outlet fee, Cabot Hall, Canary Wharf

July 8, 6.30pm

Handel with Hamper Israel in Egypt: Thomas Tallis Society Choir and Orchestra present one of Handel's lesser works.

£15, £13, £10, £1 concessions for all prices, St Alfege Church, Greenwich

July 12-13, 7.30pm

House of Delights: a series of concerts in the first truly classical building in England.

July 10: A Body of Song, led by Helen Chadwick.

July 12: Sound Bites,. tongue-in-cheek recipe songs by Bernstein, with a new song cycle from Graham Fitkin, by Ann Martin-Davis and Susan Legg.

July 13: Voices of the Spheres. Brenda Rattray and the city singers perform gospel and jazz.

£15 with £13 concessions to include a free glass of wine, Queen's House, National Maritime Museum

July 10, 7.30pm

Black at Blackheath: Trinity College of Music Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Stanley Black, perform film music and Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien.

£10 with £6 concessions, Blackheath Halls

July 11 and 13, 12.30pm

Parklive: Lunchtime music including amazing vocals from folk singer Eddi Reader and the gypsy sounds of Vera Bela, plus walkabout antics from Erth.

Free, Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf

July 11, 7.30pm

The Coronation of King George II: king's consort choir and orchestra present music by Handel, Purcell and Tallis.

£18, £15, £10 with £3 concessions for top two prices, Old Royal Naval College Chapel

July 15, 4pm

Rizwan-Muazam: a group of singers from Pakistan perform the ancient tradition of Qawwali vocal music.

£10 with £5 concessions, Circus 1, Stratford Circus

VISUAL ARTS

July 8-15, 10am-4pm

All on the Wharf: resident artists showcase a mixture of visual art at London's only lighthouse.

Free, The Boiler Makers Shop, Trinity Buoy Wharf

THEATRE

July 9, 7pm-10pm, plus appearances on opening night and at Festival Central

Warner and Consorten: Amsterdam-based Warner and Consorten create street theatre inspired by the setting to devise an unpredictable visual performance.

Free, installation in Greenwich Covered Market

July 13, 14 and 15, 7.30pm and 9.30pm

Hajar (in search of Sirens): Enchanting stilt, dance and skybound performances by Scarabeus Theatre.

Free, West India Quay

COMEDY

July 12, 8.45pm

International comedy at Up the Creek: actor/comedian Scott Capurro, joins Martin Jonas from South Africa, Tony Laws from Canada and Malcolm Hardee from south east London in an evening of international hilarity.

£10 with £6 concessions, Up the Creek, Creek Road, Greenwich.

July 2, 2001 12:31

Zigi Ekron