The 27th Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) got off to a flier in every sense last night with opening show Safe House providing a spectacular curtain-raiser to four days of street theatre, music and dance.
Starting with an exhilarating simulated race through the streets and neighbourhoods of Stockton, the focus soon shifted to a mysterious house which came to life with large-scale projections and aerial performance.
erformers scaled the walls, appeared out of windows, climbed onto the roof top and even flew around the house!
One of SIRF’s most high profile admirers, Arts Council Chief Executive, Alan Davey, said: “The world’s best international festival of outdoor art just gets better. It’s pretty special for a town to have a really world class event but Stockton’s forward thinking and strategic investment and its expertise in events has made SIRF a regular calendar fixture for people from across the country and beyond, showing just how far it’s come.
“From Fuel Theatre’s The Roof, playing for the first time outside London to Candoco’s Two for C, there are many inspirational world class shows over the next three days, for free, and I hope there’ll be lots of people from Tees Valley who enjoy it as much as those enjoying their first visit to Stockton.”
Safe House is created by award winning Metro-Boulot-Dodo in collaboration with Wired Aerial Theatre.
Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “Safe House got SIRF off to a cracking start and there’s so much more to come including another opportunity to see it tonight. We’ve got a wall to wall programme featuring more than 100 shows with something for everyone.
“The giant beanstalk growing from a first floor High Street window is already the talk of the town but if you want to know more you’ll have to go along at show time and peep in! Or if you want to treat yourself to a wacky hair sculpture while doing your shopping look out for Osadia’s Whose Hair Dares – you really can’t miss them.”
SIRF is supported by Arts Council England – to see the full festival programme, visit the SIRF website www.sirf.co.uk