The centrepiece of World Stages London - BABEL at Caledonian Park, Islington from 8th May



The centrepiece of World Stages London and a unique collaboration between four London theatres

David Micklem, on behalf of Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), and Bill Mitchell, on behalf of WildWorks, are delighted to announce that BABEL, a site-specific production, will be performed in Caledonian Park, on the borders of Islington and Camden in north London, running for 12 performances only from 8-20 May, with a press night on 10 May. The production will be a unique collaboration with the Lyric Hammersmith, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Stratford East, as the centrepiece of World Stages London.

Created by the WildWorks team behindThe Passion in Port Talbot starring Michael Sheen, under the direction of Bill Mitchell, the cast of 500 will be led by David Baker, Nigel Barrett, who played John the Baptist in The Passion, Paul Crees, Syrian performer Ammar Haj Ahmed, Kneehigh regulars Giles King and Robert Luckay, Anna Lingdren, Stella Odunlami and Caroline Partridge. They will be joined by community performers from all over London, but specifically Battersea, Hammersmith, Islington, Southwark and Stratford. BABEL has been developed over a two-year period through participatory projects in multiple venues across the capital.

Caledonian Park has been chosen as the site for BABEL, because it so closely mirrors the story itself, with its very own clock tower and a multi-layered history. It has been the site of a hostelry (at the turn of the 17th century), a fashionable tea garden (1750s), a venue for bulldog fights and bull baiting (early 19th century), the place where trade unionists gathered to demand the release of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (1834), a cattle market (mid-19th century), an abattoir (early 20th century), and, finally, in 1969, the site was turned into a housing estate and local park.

As with the park, the roots of BABEL itself go far back, to one of the first stories. In the beginning, the people felt compelled to come together and build a City and a Tower, but, over time, they abandoned both and the people spread far and wide and formed tribes. Now, in 2012, the eyes of the world are on London and, once again, the people are gathering and the Tower is calling them back. BABEL is a fable about the things that matter, the things that bind us together and keep us apart. It’s about the incredible things we can do together, the power of memory and our common humanity.

With high production values and state of the art projections, the re-imagined space, with a capacity of over 1000, will offer audiences a unique theatrical experience.

Bill Mitchell is Artistic Director of WildWorks, which he founded in 2005. Based in Cornwall, WildWorks is an art led international theatre company focussing on site-specific events making large scale spectacular performances and artworks that grow out of their locations including quarries, cliffs, harbours and derelict industrial sites. Most recently WildWorks created the Port Talbot The Passion. Their installation of Enchanted Palace has been running at Kensington Palace since 2010. Mitchell’s productions for the Company include Souterrain, which was received to great acclaim in seven different residencies across France and the UK, and The Beautiful Journey, which, with partners Culture 10, Newcastle and Theatre Royal Plymouth, was performed in Dockyards around the country and abroad.

Under the leadership of Joint Artistic Directors David Jubb and David Micklem, Battersea Arts Centre plays a leading role in supporting artists to create their best work for theatre out of a Grade II* listed former Town Hall in South London. Re-imagining and re-creating the building with each new production, they have hosted and developed some of the most exciting new shows for theatre including work from Kneehigh, Punchdrunk and 1927. BAC provides a home for artists, audiences, participants and staff and continues on its mission to invent the future of theatre.

World Stages London (WSL) is a landmark theatre celebration of the international and multicultural nature of London culminating in a series of shows presented in May 2012.

See for more information or to book.

Listings Information


Caledonian Park
Market Road
off York Way
London N7 9PL

Dates: 8 – 20 May 2012

Press performance: 10 May 2012 time to be confirmed

Performances: Tuesday – Sunday at 8.30pm (site opens from 8.15pm)

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Ticket prices: Preview £12.50

Tuesday – Thursday: £22.50 (£17.50 concs)

Friday – Sunday: £25 (£20 concs)