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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

SIRF after dark

Friday, July 28, 2017

cirque bijou web

Night-time spectaculars are set to take centre stage at this year’s Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF).

An array of visually stunning shows and performances will transform Stockton into a living evening theatre of dance, acrobatics, music and poetry between Thursday 3 and Sunday 6 August.

Residents and visitors are invited down to the town centre to explore all that is on offer of an evening, from enjoying the stunning SIRF shows to sampling some of Stockton’s stylish bars and eateries.

The festival launches on Thursday 3 August at 10pm on Stockton’s Riverside, when the UK premiere of ‘Frameshift’ sees interactive technology artists combine with acrobatic performance groups to take the audience on a multi-layered journey through time and across three aerial rigs. The show incorporates stunning vertical performance, contemporary dance, b-boying, video mapping and interactive video technology for a fitting launch show.

Friday 4 August brings a number of highlights including ‘Bouazizi’ on the plinth on Stockton High Street between 10pm and 10.45pm. Telling the story of Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian man who sparked the Arab Spring revolution when he set himself on fire, the performance revolves around the media and the manipulation of power from a 360-degree stage – with something different happening at each different point of view.

‘The Baina Trampa Fritz Fallen’ takes centre stage on Bath Lane from 9.30pm on Saturday 5 August. Dressed in white suits and armed with several tons of corn and snow shovels, the group take audiences on a journey of dance, music, circus and video projection through different locations in a humorous, poetic and absurd adventure.

SIRF 2017 comes to an exhilarating close from 10pm on Sunday 6 August at Trinity Green as Cirque Bijou display their ground-breaking ‘Fire Wire’ spectacle. Four renowned international circus artists work together on two heart stopping high wires, before one is set on fire and walked by Jade Kindar-Martin – the only artist in the world performing this daredevil feat on the longest flaming wire found anywhere!

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “Some of the most visual aspects of these performances are best experienced at night when the light fades and I’m sure they will set a spectacular scene here in Stockton.

“Each of the shows are completely free to attend so I’d really encourage everyone to come down and be part of what will be a truly different series of cultural and artistic experiences that will live long in the memory.

“Beyond that, there is so much to enjoy in Stockton Town Centre at the upmarket bars and cafes located in and around the High Street so everyone is invited to come and enjoy a really good night out in the town.”

For more information and to view this year’s full programme, visit

There will be a number of road and car park closures throughout Stockton Town Centre while SIRF17 takes place.  For details visit 

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