Unfinished Business

It’s only four days until the start of the Winter Festival. Mixed in with our more well-known artists and performers, we are offering a sneak preview of what’s in store for our Summer Festival 2016, with a series of Work in Progress performances.

There are four Work in Progress performances dotted throughout our festival, showcasing emerging talent and giving you the chance to see what’s happening on the very forefront of the performing arts.

…in nowhere but the unfinished work is the graft behind the glitter most visible. 

(‘Why is an artwork left unfinished?’ – Christies)


As humans we leave a lot of things unfinished – countless mugs of tea we forget about, that DIY project in the garden that can’t be done in the rain, a gym membership form, that novel we have the perfect first sentence for…

People have been not finishing things for decades. Saying an artwork is ‘finished’ often implies it’s ‘perfect’. This pressure can easily be bypassed by saying it’s still ‘in progress’; providing freedom that allows a space for growth, experimentation, dare. Artists given this license to play without the pressure of having to be perfect has created some of the best artwork of decades. In celebration of all things unfinished, we take a look at some recent ‘incomplete’ masterpieces.



La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: Antoni Gaudi

Scheduled to be finished in 2030, 150 years after work on this famous Barcelonian building began, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished legacy still draws tourists from all over every day to see this architectural gem.






anneThe Diary of Anne Frank: Anne Frank

Finishing mid-entry, we read her journal up to the very day Anne Frank and her family were taken to concentration camp. The diary remains unfinished, reminding us the reality of what we’re reading and culminating in the saddest point of the autobiography: the lack of end to her story.






jimiFirst Rays of the New Rising Sun: Jimi Hendrix

Following the breakup of his band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi began work on his ambitious double album, but before recording was fully under way, Hendrix died of an overdose, sparking a lengthly legal battle between producer and family over the rights to the material. The family won and the album was released with edits ranging from very rough demos to nearly complete.





marilynSomething’s Got To Give: George Cukor

Something’s Got to Give was made in 1962, but never completed. The film starred Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. On the first day of production, Monroe called in sick, starting a pattern that would continue throughout filming until director George Cukor fired her, cancelling and shelving the film. Unfortunately, it was Marilyn’s last film as she continued to spiral further into decline, dying later that year. Nonetheless, it is probably Hollywood’s most famous incomplete film.





Sunday 6 December, 4.30pm
St Matthias School
Find out more >>

House of Love
Monday 7 December, 8.30pm
Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s)
Find out more >> 

King Arthur
Wednesday 9 December, 8.30pm
Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s)
Find out more >>

Saturday 12 December, 6.00pm
Pinter Studio, Queen Mary University of London
Find out more >>

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