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  • Miles Hedley

SUN & SEA at The Albany

Updated: May 24, 2022

In a summer of extraordinary events in south-east London, the Albany is offering its own unique contribution by hosting the British premiere of Sun & Sea, an opera that has already been showered with international awards and accolades and is now coming to Deptford as part of acclaimed London theatre festival LIFT.

The Albany’s main arena will be converted into a crowded sandy beach and audiences will be able to look down from the theatre’s cicrcular balcony and watch sun-worshipping families, couples and singletons relax, play, picnic, read, flirt, chat and litter as they sing about their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows in a slowly-unfolding work that promises to investigate the mundane, the sinister and the surreal and give us new insights into our troubled relationship with our home planet.

Sun & Sea, which is co-produced with the Serpentine art hub and is being staged as part of Lewisham’s year as London’s borough of culture, has been wowing the world ever since it won the prestigious Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. It is the dream-child of three remarkable Lithuanian women – composer Lina Lapelytė, librettist Vaiva Grainytė and director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė - and it will grace the Albany from 23 June to 10 July.

LIFT’s artistic director Kris Nelson said: “Sun & Sea is sensational – and timely. It shifts our perspective and asks us to look at the lives we lead and our impact on the planet differently. We’re so pleased to be partnering with the Albany, Lewisham and Serpentine to realise this unforgettable artwork in London.”

Speaking of unforgettable art, the Albany is also playing host to Seawall, Andreas Angelidakis’s powerfully physical yet poetic installation which, like Sun & Sea, highlights global warming. It’s in the theatre garden till October – and it’s free.

Meanwhile, sensation-seekers can find other extraordinary performance art down the road in Woolwich where Punchdrunk’s astonishing Trojan epic The Burnt City and Collective Act’s fabulous light-and-sound experience Dreamachine are both drawing big crowds. And in late August we will all be able to revel in the annual joyfest that is the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. What an astonishing summer this is proving to be in south-east London!

Further details about Sun & Sea and Seawall at


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