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.

Akademi’s ESCAPADE took the Southbank Centre by storm on 1st and 2nd 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 2000.

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.

“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


Creative Team

Artistic Direction and DesignKeith Khan
Movement Director and ChoreographerDan O’Neill
Associate Movement Director and ChoreographerGauri Sharma Tripathi
DramaturgRajan Khosa
ComposerSandeep Chowta
Film MakerMark Murphy
LightingSimon Corder
ChoreographersHenri Oguike, Mavin khoo, Satish Shah, Chix Chandaria, Joan Pires, Sujata Banerjee and Mita Banerjee
Executive ProducerMira Kaushik OBE
ProducerSuzanne Walker
Production ManagerSimon Byford

Media Credits

ImagesRichard Houghton, Keith Khan, Mark Murphy and Ali Zaidi.

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

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