Voila! Europe is a multilingual theatre festival produced by The Cockpit. Our curated programme of cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary performance opens a trusted portal to new European theatre for independent artists and adventurous audiences.The festival is live on stage in London and live online everywhere, gathering together a welcoming community of the culturally curious.
Voila! Europe embraces an entrepreneurial fringe model in order to platform emergent theatre: contemporary artist-led work that responds to our world with a sense of urgency. We support and mentor theatre makers to take the next steps in self-producing their work, bypassing institutional gatekeepers. Voila creates a home for artists to speak in their own voice, in their own accent, and in their own language.
‘Voila! Europe clearly has an imaginative and energetic approach to presenting international work in an urban festival setting. From its initial aims it has proved itself to be responsive, quirky, and risk-taking.’
- The European Festivals Association
Voila! Europe Theatre Festival is an annual theatre rendezvous in London each November. Since 2012, we have built a reputation for programming a genre-busting mix of multidisciplinary, multilingual & multicultural performance that celebrates the best of British & European emerging artists. Voila! began as a French & English bilingual fringe festival produced by The Cockpit. In response to the Brexit referendum, the 2017 festival expanded to include all European languages, with performances at The Cockpit, Etcetera Theatre, and Applecart Arts. In 2019, we collaborated with the Actors Centre to present a new festival, called A Piece of the Continent. Later that year, Rich Mix invited us to present performances in their Studio and Mix venues during our November Voila! Europe festival.
Voila! is a place for artists to take risks. We support individuals and companies to make a daring leap: presenting a new piece of work, touring to a new audience, or translating a play into a new language. Beyond providing a performance platform, we mentor emerging companies, so that their next step can be a step up. Over the years, Voila! has supported over 600 artists to present 150 shows, bringing together British artists, UK-based European artists, and artists visiting from abroad.
Some of the highlights:
PSYCHEdelight’s BORDERLINE (2016) is a multilingual satirical comedy about the Calais Jungle, devised with refugees. The show had its first performances at Voila! and went on to be co-produced by Counterpoints Arts. After a revival at The Cockpit in 2017, the show is now touring the UK & Europe. The company has been featured in a documentary by the Guardian, and nominated for MigrationWork’s Community Integration Awards.
French British Improvisation (La FBI) have been part of Voila! since the very beginning. Every year, the troupe brings a new experiment to the festival - whether that's an 'improv match' in the round with the audience deciding the winner (2018), or an improvised romantic comedy (2019).
Paper Smoker's show DIARY OF AN EXPAT began in a Voila! residency at Applecart Arts in 2017, going on to a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe, touring in the UK and Italy, and returning to London in our "A Piece of The Continent" Festival at the Tristan Bates in 2019. The company's next show MILES APART TOGETHER premiered at Voila in 2018 at the Etcetera Theatre, and will be performed again at VAULT Festival when it reopens in 2021.
In 2018, Les Particules received support from the Institut Français du Royaume Uni to create an English translation for their innovative show ROBOLUTION, performed in French with two actors and one robot.
NAPOLI 44 was the inaugural winner of the OFF Fest award in association with OffWestEnd in 2019. With an original bilingual script by Lavinia Carpentieri, the show brought together a cast and creative team from the UK and Italy under the banner of Compagnia Francesca Caprioli. The winner in 2020 was FAREWELL CONCERT by K2 Theater, supported by the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London.
Festival directors - Sharlit Deyzac & Amy Clare Tasker
Programming & marketing associate - Joanna Manavopoulou
Director of The Cockpit - Dave Wybrow
Questions about your booking, or about accessing the shows online? Contact The Cockpit box office on 020 7258 2925, or boxofficethecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk