19 July 2009

It's festival time again

THERE’S plenty of festival fun lined up for the Tees Valley this summer. Take a look: Stockton International Riverside Festival July 30-August 2 EXPECT the unexpected if you’re heading to Stockton this summer. Now in its 22nd year, Stockton International Riverside Festival will again welcome artists and street theatre companies from across the globe. At the heart of the festival will be NoFit State Circus who will make their home in Trinity Gardens and invite you to join them in a joyful exploration and celebration of the secret life of public parks. Their show Parklife will premiere at SIRF and, in the run up to the performances, there will be a series of workshops for local creative groups who will be able to be part of Britain’s leading contemporary circus. Other highlights includes Balletboyz II - The Next Generation who will perform their outdoor dance piece

The Laws Of Motion. Deabru Beltzsak bring their urban dance piece Bande Deplacee to Stockton - watch out as peculiar characters, similar to the ancient Samurai, hit the streets blending dance with fire and rhythms. Also check out Little Box Of Horrors - a playful and artfully choreographed peep show and Digital Funfair where audiences can release their tension with a virtual coconut shy. Another new show at SIRF is Until Now. Developed by acrobatics group Mimbre, it combines world class acrobatics with physical theatre and dance, using a unique physical language to tell stories and create imagery. This year’s Community Carnival will take centre stage on Saturday, August 1, as around 1,000 people make their way along Stockton High Street. The theme this year is Small Wonders, Big World. The World Famous will bring the curtain down on the Festival with a breathtaking finale at Trinity Gardens on Sunday, August 2. The show is called Trinity, which takes inspiration from their surroundings and celebrates the building and its history.
Ahead of the finale, World Famous will create an installation at Trinity Green using music, light, fire and fireworks to animate Trinity Church.

For more details log on to www.sirf.co.uk Stockton Riverside Fringe Festival July 30-August 2 Get ready to rock down by the Riverside at this year’s Fringe. This year’s free festival will combine great live music with comedy. Brit-poppers The Charlatans will headline the main stage on Friday, July 31. Supergrass - who had been booked to headline the event last year but had to pull out due to commitments in the USA - will close the main stage on Saturday, August 1. And Auchtermuchty’s finest folk-rockers and foot-tappers The Proclaimers will close The Fringe on Sunday, August 2. The Fringe kicks off on Thursday, July 30, in The Georgian Theatre, with the welcome return of ex-Love & Money front man James Grant - the main stage opens at noon the next day. The Fringe will also feature a second stage - Loosely Acoustic. In the Comedy Tent the laughter line-up includes internationally acclaimed Canadian stand-up Craig Campbell who will light up the stage with natural eccentricity and an ability to find humour in the mundane on Friday evening. Razor-sharp Geordie Jason Cook, fresh from a tour of New Zealand, presents his mix of audience interaction, storytelling and improvisation. On Saturday’s bill, Lucy Porter’s chirpy exterior conceals a sharp mind and a wicked streak. Tasmanian devil Phil Nichol with guitar and funny songs follows, with ex-circus juggler, unicyclist, knife thrower, fire-eater, and magician Martin

Bigpig sure to close the night with a bang. Sunday’s star Dan Nightingale began his comedy career while living in Newcastle and working at a comedy club as a sound man. Six months on and Dan has enjoyed a meteoric rise, performing sell out shows across the country as well as supporting the likes of Ross Noble and Daniel Kitson on tours. Also back again after last year’s side splitting performance is Anvil Springstien with Matt Reed compere for the three days. All Fringe events are free, including the main music stage and comedy tent. ● More details at www.fringefestival.co.uk Billingham International Folklore Festival August 1-8 Billingham will play host to dancers from around the globe next month as the town’s International Foklore Festival celebrates its 45th anniversary. Dancers from nine countries - including Mongolia, Russia, Peru and the Cook Islands - will be arriving for the event, plus there will be performances from home grown talent. The Billingham Festival Arena in the town centre will be the focus of much of the entertainment. But with the Forum Theatre currently closed while a £15m redevelopment of the Forum complex takes place, other events will be held at Middlesbrough Theatre and Arc in Stockton. ● For more details log on to www.billinghamfestival.co.uk

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