LIFT started in 1981 as the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), and has over the past 20 years presented ground-breaking events and festivals to audiences of over 800,000 with 300 international premieres from 60 countries.

LIFT has been instrumental in placing international theatre and performance on London's cultural agenda. LIFT events have been staged at over 30 London venues as well as numerous sites including streets, disused buildings, parks, open spaces and on the river Thames. 

In 2001, after twelve festivals of international performances LIFT decided to break with the traditional biennial festival format and begin the LIFT Enquiry, a 5 year process of investigating theatre while presenting an on-going programme of events.  To find out more about LIFT's current activity visit

On this website you can search and view 1000 items selected from the LIFT Living Archive. This digitized selection represents 50 productions from the first 12 festivals. The LIFT Living Archive includes a collection of video and audio recordings, which are not represented on the website for copyright reasons.

The archive is now held in Special Collections at Goldsmiths, University of London.  If you would like to find out more about the archive or enquire about visiting  please email or call us on 020 7490 3976.

Featured item
Photograph of Zus of Zo (One of Them)