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An unmissable line-up at SIRF18: here's what you need to know

24 July 2018

Finnish Circus, an open-top bus, juggling postmen, a cycle-powered carousel and a world premiere - it's just over a week to go until Stockton International Riverside Festival returns to Stockton Town Centre.

Image of SIRF 18 sparkler event

From Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 August SIRF18 promises to wow audiences with a thought-provoking and entertaining programme, and with more than 150 international circus, dance and theatre shows on offer there will be so much to see, experience and savour.

Here's a taste of some of the shows on offer:


Friday 3 August and Saturday 4 August - 10pm to 11am

Trinity Green

This large scale night time show will mark 100 years since some British women were given the vote. Inspired by suffragettes and suffragists this ambitious outdoor show uses dance, physical and aerial performance to tell the story about the women who took direct action to gain equality.


Friday 3 August - 4pm - 8pm

Stockton Riverside

Come along to experience an early taste of the carnival atmosphere ahead of Saturday's main event - Tees Valley's largest community carnival! This year the carnival team have been spreading the joy of the carnival across the Tees Valley as part of the exciting Great Place programme. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the project has supported community organisations and artists from Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Darlington to come together to share the work that has been created - showcasing all the fabulous things set to be on show at the carnival on Saturday.


Thursday 2, Friday 3, Saturday 4, Sunday 5 August - 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 6pm and 7.30pm

Stockton Town Centre

Climb onto the unique open-top bus as performance poets Cecilia Knapp and Jemima Foxtrot tell the story of a woman's life in an unforgettable journey through Stockton. All aboard for a view of Stockton as it has never been seen before. Watch this video to see streets become the stage for a moving adventure.  This is a free but ticketed event.



Saturday 4 August - 2pm and 7.15pm

Sunday 5 August - 2.45pm and 7.15pm

Stockton High Street

Watch this video as these energetic daredevil circus performers from Finland appear and disappear from the confines of their van. With acrobatic stunts a plenty the crowd will certainly be entertained.



Saturday 4 August - 2pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm

Sunday 5 August - 2pm, 3.30pm, 6pm

Trinity Green

When a heavily laden postman is suddenly surprised by a rain shower, he discovers that all his packages have lost their labels. A sweet and gentle show that appeals to children and grown-ups too!


Saturday 4 August - 1.30pm, 4pm, 6pm

Sunday 5 August - 2pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm

Trinity Green

This special show features a cycle-powered carousel which has room for up to 10.  With puppetry and music the journey will set imaginations racing.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Norma Wilburn, said: "It's just over a week until SIRF18 starts, bringing with it excitement, adventure, history and laughter. 

"This year we have our largest programme yet - there will be four days of wonderful theatre, circus and dance for all ages and all members of the family to see for free - not forgetting our lively Community Carnival, which is always a festival highlight.

"And there are still places left for our moving, epic outdoor launch show, This Is Not For You, so head to the SIRF18 website or the Rediscover Shop to reserve your free ticket for this amazing show performed by limbless veterans, local choirs and professional performers."

This Is Not For You will take place on Thursday, 2 August at 8.30pm and also 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday 3 August.  It is a free but ticketed performance.

For a taste of what to expect, more information and tickets visit

SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.