THIS SATURDAY (January 18) to celebrate the launch of Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture 2020 at RISE – a spectacular outdoor show featuring a community cast of hundreds hosted by Wembley Park as principal partner.
Starting at 7pm, the show will bring together theatre, dance and music to tell the story of Brent through a mass-participatory performance choreographed by Southpaw Dance Company.
Free for all to attend, it will take place on a five storey-high stage against the backdrop of Brent’s iconic Wembley Stadium on Wembley Park’s transformed Olympic Way, illuminated by colourful projections and set to an incredible soundtrack of music and spoken word.
Brent is the UK’s most diverse borough – a borough of cultures. RISE will tell the story of how this corner of North West London travelled from the margins to impact culture in Britain through its music, activism, and rebellious spirit. The show follows a group of friends from Brent as they reflect on its history and identity across generations.
Over 300 people have been recruited from schools, dance clubs, and community groups across Brent to take part in the performance, learning the choreography from professional dancers from the borough.
The show will close with an explosive ending and a live performance by Brent-born artist General Levy. Boxpark Wembley will host an afterparty with street food vendors, bars, live music performances and DJs.
Lois Stonock, artistic director of Brent 2020, said: “2020 will show London what Brent is all about, and RISE will be a bold and brilliant start to our year as London Borough of Culture – a spectacular celebration free for all. We want all of London to come and celebrate.”
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent council leader, said: “As the UK’s most diverse borough, Brent is not only the London Borough of Culture, we are the London Borough of Cultures.
“Our opening event will tell the story of how people from different countries, faiths and backgrounds have come together to find a new life, where their hopes and ambitions can be realised, and now proudly call Brent home. Everyone is welcome so make sure you are there for what promises to be an unforgettable start to 2020.”
James Saunders, CEO of Quintain, the developer behind the transformation of Wembley Park, said: “Quintain is proud to be supporting Brent Borough of Culture, both as principal partner for the year and as host for this amazing opening ceremony.
“RISE represents the very best of Brent, and we’re delighted to be hosting it on Olympic Way, a world-famous space for performance, events and celebrations.
“Wembley Park is a place where everyone can come together for incredible experiences, every day, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from the borough and further afield to witness this unique spectacular.”
Brent is London Borough of Culture for 2020 – a major initiative launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017 inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes.
More than 20,000 people backed Brent’s bid to be London Borough of Culture 2020. Brent 2020 will present high profile cultural events throughout the year across the borough exploring the spirit and creativity of Brent, with hundreds of the borough’s local residents taking a leading role in shaping the programme.