A powerful, moving and at times discomforting show, immersing the crowd in a collage of sound, light and pyrotechnics, opened the 29th Stockton International Riverside Festival last night (4 August).
Live musicians and performers alongside smoke, gongs, bells, rattles and explosions transported an audience of around 2000 from the gentle surroundings of Preston Park to a harrowing no-man’s land on the battle front between two lines.
Furious Folly launched the UK’s finest showcase of outdoor theatre, circus, music and dance, staged across Stockton-on-Tees from Thursday, 4 August to Sunday, 7 August.
Created by Mark Anderson, the tour of Furious Folly has been co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary and Stadt Poperinge.
Taking inspiration from the anti-war spirit of the early 20th Century Dadaist movement, the outdoor performance challenged the inhumanity and senseless conflicts of past and present.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Norma Wilburn, said: “What an impressive and thought-proving start to this year’s SIRF Furious Folly was. It was an unforgettable experience and a fascinating reflection of many of the emotions which must have been felt during the First World War.
“Every SIRF is different but with three world premieres and more than 100 free family-friendly shows we know we have a great weekend in store. I urge everyone living in and around Stockton to come along and enjoy all that SIRF16 has to offer.”
Furious Folly will be performed once again at 9.45pm tonight. A limited number of tickets are still available on a first come first served basis. They are free but must be booked in advance. Search Furious Folly at www.eventbrite.co.uk
There is a free bus service from Stockton Town Centre to Preston Park. Tickets for the bus service will be issued with the entry ticket.
For safety reasons children under the age of 12 will not be admitted to Furious Folly. Full details, including parking information, is available at www.sirf.co.uk
SIRF is supported by Arts Council England. For full programme details visit www.sirf.co.uk