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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

SIRF17 preview performances take to the streets

Monday, July 31, 2017

hippocondriac web

Stockton International Riverside Festival took to the road with an array of intriguing, amusing teaser performances on Saturday (29 July) – giving a taste of what festival-goers can expect at SIRF17.

Street theatre act, The Stereomen, entertained people in Ingleby Barwick with their retro ghetto blasters and synced dancing skills, while the Hippocondriac - a giant pedal-powered hippo puppet - brought spectacle and smiles to Thornaby Town Centre.

And in Billingham Town Centre, residents and visitors helped to create a huge piece of community artwork at the ‘Pentagon’ installation by artist, Scott Walker. Covered in a black and white doodle, the installation inspired people of all ages to colour in a section and bring a unique piece of art to life.

There were also performances at Preston Park Museum and Grounds, where festival favourites Pif Paf regaled interesting and surreal facts about bees and pollination from their specially-created Bee Cart.

Meanwhile shoppers and residents on Norton High Street were kept amused by the British Bobbies, a pair of endearing stilt-walking police officers presented by The Grand Theatre of Lemmings.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “The Borough-wide preview performances were such great fun and gave a flavour of the fantastic performances you can expect at Stockton International Riverside Festival.

"SIRF never ceases to amaze and this year there will be more than 100 shows throughout the festival with something for everyone, from theatre to circus and dance, and some real showstoppers in store. No two days are the same so I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy a brilliant weekend of fun and entertainment.”

For more information about SIRF and to see the full festival 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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