Unlimited Global Alchemy



Co-directors: Rachel Gadsden and Athina Vahla

Collaborative performers: Rachel Gadsden, Freddie Opoku-Addaie and Sarah Chin

Technical design: Mamoru Iriguchi

Lighting design: Michael Mannion

Sound: Chas de Swiet and Paul Gundry

Rehearsal Director: Susan Sentler

Filmmakers: Deborah May and Cliff Bestall

Unlimited Global Alchemy was a multi-stranded project including a performance, seven short films, a major exhibition and a programme of talks and workshops. This work originated with Rachel Gadsden working with The Bambanani Group from Khayelitsha Township in South Africa. The Bambanani Group, led by Nondumiso Hlwele, are Noloyiso Balintulo, Bongiwe Mba, Thozama Ndevu, Thobani Ncapai and Zodwa Somlayi.

Commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Festival; launching at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge and culminating at Southbank Centre during the Paralympic Games in London.

Produced by Artsadmin


Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre – 5 Sept 2012

An evening of work by UK/International artists Rachel Gadsden and Athina Vahla which brought together artists from the UK and South Africa to explore emotions in the face of serious health conditions, including HIV and AIDS. Featuring dance, film, art and conversation, created as a result of Gadsden’s unique six-week residency with the Bambanani artist-activist group from Khayelitsha Township in South Africa.  The performances offered visceral and often poetic perspectives on what it means to experience disabling conditions and to fight openly for life in the face of social taboos. And at the heart of this life-affirming and timely collaboration was a celebration of survival against the odds.


“Eloquently embodied by Opoku-Addaie – the ensuing interplay between exhaustion and the will to survive.” The Guardian, Click to read more ›




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