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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Bumper birthday programme for SIRF's 30th

Monday, July 17, 2017

bingo lingo by wilnd n beets

Stockton International Riverside Festival’s celebratory 30th birthday programme is out.

SIRF17 will take place from Thursday 3 until Sunday 6 August and with more than 100 shows, five UK premieres, daredevil flaming high wire acts, the biggest community carnival in the Tees Valley, theatre, dance, circus and much more, it’s not to be missed.

Programmes are available from Stockton Borough’s libraries and the Rediscover Stockton shop on Stockton High Street. It can also be downloaded online at

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Norma Wilburn, said: “SIRF17 is certainly set to celebrate 30 years of our wonderful festival in style with an intriguing, entertaining and exciting programme.

“There will be a chance for visitors of all ages to join in the extra special birthday celebrations and with large and small scale shows from all around the world there will be something to suit everyone’s tastes.

“It’s free, it’s on for four days and it’s one of the finest outdoor arts and street theatre festivals in the UK so don’t miss it!”

SIRF17 will launch in spectacular fashion on Thursday 3 August with Frameshift, a co-production between Australian physical theatre company, Stalker Theatre and Korean vertical performance group, Creative Dandi.  The aerial theatre show combines vertical performance, contemporary dance, b-boy dancing, video mapping and digital interactive technology.

There will be an abundance of family friendly shows too including oversized Bingo compered by Beryl and Cyril, who hope to make Bingo an official Paralympic sport and the return of Whalley Street All Stars who will bring a miniature town to life with the witty use of objects and sound effects placed inside buildings.

On Saturday 5 August schools, young people, community groups, musicians, dancers and circus enthusiasts will entertain the crowds lining the High Street as they party through the town centre with the Fizz, Pop, Bang! Happy Birthday Community Carnival.

The carnival atmosphere will be arriving early this year with a big circus tent in Parish Gardens on Tuesday 1 August, Wednesday 2 August and Thursday 3 August. The Carnival Jamboree will give people of all ages and abilities a chance to sign-up to a range of workshops including acrobatics, uni-cycling and stilt walking, as well as drop-in sessions with opportunities to make headdresses and flags to line the carnival route.

And this year’s finale is set to be one of the most breath-taking yet as inimitable British show makers Cirque Bijou take to the skies above Trinity Green with their groundbreaking, flaming high wire finale.

World renowned high wire artist, Jade Kindar Martin and some of the most exciting high wire and aerial artists performing today will join more than 100 volunteers from the local community for the unique and daring show.

To view the full festival programme and for a taste of what to expect visit

SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.

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