Act 3: Let’s Celebrate
The third act of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, “Let’s Celebrate”, harnessed creativity, ingenuity, humour and community spirit. It mashed street theatre, music-on-the-move, urban dance, and the very best of Carnival, May Day, Mela, Fiesta and Mardi Gras to celebrate The Queen’s extraordinary life experience. This act featured an outburst of performer groups from across the UK who all created their own unique pieces for the Pageant:
TriggerBristol-based Trigger is an independent arts organisation, who create events that put audiences at the centre of the action. A single dancer – a young woman with a flowing baton in hand, joyfully skipped, danced and played with an epic 21-foot-tall Hatchling dragon puppet, interacting with the crowds around them.
ShademakersBased in the Isle of Wight, Shademakers brought a historic display to the Pageant. Elaborate costumed figures representing the Four Nations and The Queen’s Beasts took audiences back in time. During her coronation, The Queen walked past ten sculptures of heraldic beasts when entering Westminster Abbey and these were portrayed by knights on horseback.
NutkhutFounded in 2003 in London, Nutkhut creates imaginative, stunning performance and installation – reimagining the old and telling the new. A celebration of weddings from around the Commonwealth was interpreted in inter-generational Asian/Bollywood ‘mela’ style. A 4m cake took centre stage as maypole dancers in saris surrounded the scene.
MahoganyFormed in 1989, Mahogany Carnival Arts is a group of artists based in Harlesden, London. They imagined the Coronation in Afro-Caribbean carnival-style. They roared down The Mall depicting The Queen’s ascension whilst on Royal tour in Kenya. Their piece featured an array of colourful costumes followed by a giant wire frame sculpture of The Queen.
Emergency Exit Arts & Mandinga ArtsThis creative collaboration featured technical marvels from Emergency Exit Arts, live music from Rhythms of the City and Mandinga Arts’ extraordinary carnival puppets and costumery. The centerpiece was a mighty oak and maypole, whose conjoined ribbons formed an image of The Queen. This celebration piece took pride in our country’s attitude to diversity and LGBTQIA+ identities.
Bridgwater CarnivalBridgwater Carnival, based in Somerset, is one of the largest illuminated carnival processions in Europe. For the first time ever, rival creatives from Britain’s oldest carnival tradition collaborated to interpret The Crown, Royal Heraldry, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Their performance was split into two Great British parts – Happy and Glorious. ‘Happy’ was a street dance parade with over 80 dancers depicting celebrations, jubilee parties and Royal Weddings whilst ‘Glorious’ featured a magnificent carnival float reflecting Royal Insignia, The Commonwealth and oomp and splendour.
Have Faith & Jeni CairnsHave Faith and Jeni Cairns’ collaboration reflected The Queen’s commitment to religious diversity. Hundreds of children from nine primary schools across Greater London collaborated to build and parade paper and withy butterflies, with iconography representing the nine principal faith groups. The centerpiece was designed by Peterborough-based artist Jeni Cairns and featured a willow and steel structure of open hands, which offered up flowers and butterflies to depict the nine interfaith religions.
Global GroovesGlobal Grooves wowed audiences with a colorful spectacle called A Sharing of Gifts. This presentation was a reflection of our global interdependence and a celebration of our shared heritage and identity. Global Grooves weaved together creative elements musical phrasing, and dance movements that told the story of today’s Greater Manchester, proudly sharing its story on the global stage.
Thames Festival, Kinetika Bloco & Oi Musica200 dancers across 72 schools carried River of Hope flags under the expert direction of Mr Leon Hazlewood. The partnership project between the Thames Festival Trust and the British Council was built on an existing programme called Rivers of the World.Kinetica Bloco are a charity music band based in London, which have been together for 22 years. They played music from Burna Boy to Alison Hinda, and Ezra Collective to Toast – all based around the theme of togetherness.Dancers from Oi Musica, based in Edinburgh, were in full flow along the Pageant route, with their incredible Southern U.S Style ‘souzaphones’. Their jazz-based street band provided audiences with toe tapping tunes and fantastic percussion.
ImagineerA comic slant on Her Majesty’s love of horses and corgis featured in Imagineer’s section called ’The Queen’s Favourites.’ Rich with quirky British humor created by a Coventry-based outdoor arts organisation in collaboration with Midlands based artists and participants. A twenty-foot high puppet of Godiva led the procession, bringing with her gifts from Coventry, celebrating the ingenuity and industry of the West Midlands.
Cirque BijouCirque Bijou’s large scale mobile stage was populated by a diverse and dynamic cast of world-class circus artists, street dancers and urban athletes. Working with young dancers from Tottenham-based street dance company Steppaz and with elaborate bespoke zero-waste costumes from award-winning London-based fashion house Teatum Jones, Cirque Bijou’s mobile circus structure was sustainably powered and showcased the talent of tomorrow.
Kinetika & Jeanefer Jean CharlesEssex-based Kinetika joined forces with a number of key workers from across the UK to celebrate their work over the last two years. They recognised and paid homage to those on the front line during the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Queen’s commitment to public service was celebrated through silk banners, and mass choreography involving key workers and their communities.