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An exuberant tribute to the democratic resilience of pop culture in the UK.

137 artists and performers and 59 production staff perform for an audience of nearly 16,000.

“quite simply the most spectacular outdoor event I have ever seen in Britain in my brief 72 years.”
Paul Bentley

Audience member

“The Southbank plays host to one of the biggest outdoor shows in its history”
Judith Mackrell

Reviewer, The Guardian Guide

Akademi’s ESCAPADE took the Southbank Centre by storm on 1 and 2 August 2003. Some said the production exceeded the enormously successful COMING OF AGE, which began Akademi’s special relationship with the architecture of this site in 2001.

What it matched in ambition and perhaps scale, Akademi certainly surpassed in daring with this spectacle. With a cast of performers running to well over one hundred, an impressively large production team, and vast spaces teeming with carnival punks, dancers, percussionists and, at the end of it all, fireworks, ESCAPADE couldn’t help but live up to its name.

Showcasing the often ‘invisible’ community and education work that has earned Akademi its respeted reputation, ESCAPADE was an exuberant tributte to the democratic resilience of pop culture in the UK, Urban, British, South Asian cool: for two nights, bollywood kitsch went art-house on London South Bank with an awesome, body-popping bang.

Creative Team

Artistic Direction and Design: Keith Khan
Movement Director and Choreographer: Dan O’Neill
Associate Movement Director and Choreographer: Gauri Sharma Tripathi
Dramaturg: Rajan Khosa
Composer: Sandeep Chowta
Film Maker: Mark Murphy
Lighting: Simon Corder
Choreographers: Henri Oguike, Mavin khoo, Satish Shah, Chix Chandaria, Joan Pires, Sujata Banerjee and Mita Banerjee
Executive Producer: Mira Kaushik OBE
Producer: Suzanne Walker
Production Manager: Simon Byford

Supported by

Southbank Centre, Arts Council England, Association of London Government, London Borough of Camden, European union Social Fund, South Asian Dance Alliance, Sony Entertainment Television Asia, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Media Credits

Images: Richard Houghton, Keith Khan, Mark Murphy and Ali Zaidi.