A powerful and emotive response to the inconceivable madness of the First World War will launch Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) tomorrow, Thursday 4 August.
Furious Folly takes place as night falls in a no-man’s land on the battle front between two lines. Disorientated, the audience will find themselves immersed within an open-air collage of sound, light, pyrotechnics and performance.
It will be the first time in the festival’s 29-year history that a SIRF performance will take place in Preston Park.
The show begins there at 9.45pm on Thursday night where Mark Anderson will lead a team of international artists to draw on the anti-war spirit of the early 20th Century Dadaist movement.
Railing against the futility of the Great War and the madness of the battlefield, the unique performance challenges the inhumanity and senselessness of conflicts past and present.
As well as being part of SIRF, Furious Folly is one of more than 80 new artworks selected as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official national arts programme marking the centenary of the First World War.
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “This year marks 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme and we hope that Furious Folly will be a powerful reminder of the devastating loss of life that took place in the First World War and other conflicts since.
“The performance is a poignant and unconventional piece of outdoor art which reflects on some of the sights, sounds and emotions felt throughout the war. It is one of more than 100 incredible shows on offer throughout the festival, bringing a huge variety of worldwide artists, performers, acrobats and actors for what is set to be another successful SIRF.”
The fascinating show launches four days of wall to wall theatre, circus, music and dance across Stockton-on-Tees from Thursday, 4 August to Sunday, 7 August.
Entry to Furious Folly is free of charge but please note the show is ticketed. Tickets must be booked in advance and are available online via www.sirf.co.uk
For safety reasons children under the age of 12 will not be admitted to Furious Folly. Once within the performance area, the audience is not permitted to leave until the show is finished due to safety restrictions.
Furious Folly will be repeated at SIRF on Friday 5 August and there will be a free bus service from Stockton Town Centre to Preston Park for both performances. Tickets for the bus service will be issued with your entry ticket.
Full details, including parking information, is available at www.sirf.co.uk
SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.