Tenth year of delightfully oddball fun at Great Yarmouth’s Out There Festival
- Credit: Edgars Blumbergs
Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts assembles another zany international cast of circus performers, streets artists and strange happenings this weekend. We preview what not to miss at what promises to be another weird weekend by the seaside.
Weird and wonderful acts from across the globe will be entertaining the crowds in Great Yarmouth this weekend as the town hosts its fun fiesta of circus, street art and more.
Battle Donkey-Kong, discover space from a garden shed or gasp at edge-of-the seat circus spectaculars, Great Yarmouth's Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts is celebrating its tenth year with another weird weekend by the seaside.
Almost entirely free, it boasts an amazing international programme of the very best in contemporary circus, weird and wonderful street performance, and outdoor dance, music and theatre.
Producers Seachange Arts have established Out There as one of the UK's leading outdoor arts festivals with an international reputation and an enviable line-up of world-class acts flocking to the town each year.
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Around 50,000 people, from all over the country, make their way to the coast to sample the delights of this festival that successfully blends family fun and a sometimes anarchic, edgy attitude.
Out There has forged an international reputation on the back of numerous European partnerships that Seachange has formed, bringing cutting-edge circus and street arts companies from the continent and across the world. Over the last decade the festival has hosted around 60 UK and world premieres.
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This year's festival features some nine UK premieres. Amongst them are France's Compagnie 2.1 who bring Un Petit Air De Cabaret – a rock n roll comedy show which twists classic circus on its head; Switzerland's Jessica Arpin, performs Kalabazi - a seductive cycling circus show which has been seen in 24 countries but makes its UK debut in Great Yarmouth.
Portugal's Dulce Duca will be presenting a juggling show that effortlessly blends physical theatre, spectacle and dance to create an amazing piece of dreamlike circus.
Further premieres include Italy's The Tamarros, a musical marching band, decked in afro wigs, sunglasses and frilly shirts, they mix brass band disco sounds with choreography and endless gags.
France's Carnage Productions performed at the festival in 2014, leaping off tall buildings in a memorable comedy commando themed show. They return this year with Les Tapas, an ambling, absurd piece of silent comedy and another UK premiere.
New work is always to the fore and, alongside all the international acts, some of the UK's leading street arts companies bring new shows to the festival this year.
Avant Garde Dance present a playful outdoor piece based on our customs around food and dining. Theatre for One provides delightful tiny tales in intimate little street theatre vignettes and Rear View, which premiered at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, will see a double decker bus converted into a mobile auditorium roving across the town.
One of the UK's finest purveyors of truly odd street theatre, Ramshacklicious return with Mr and Mr Burn – an offbeat Vegas double act featuring contemporary clowning, puppetry and pyrotechnics.
The festival is also ramping up Great Yarmouth's own productive output and this year features two shows from companies based in the town.
Dizzy O'Dare's Baba Yaga's House takes a traditional Slavic fairy-tale about a wicked witch and turns it into a roving street performance that blends just the right amount of delights and scares.
Great Yarmouth creator Matthew Harrison's Actual Reality Arcade takes classic arcade games like Pac-man and Donkey Kong and re-imagines them as outdoor interactive games, allowing you to pilot spaceships, dodge barrels and become a real-life Space Invader.
The Saturday night programme is the traditional highlight of the festival. This year it features a charming and spectacular collaboration between UK's Worldbeaters, a stunning percussion troupe, and Germany's Dundu, one of the world's leaders in large-scale puppetry. The show, Sense of Unity, will weave through the streets in a mesmerising after-dark procession.
Saturday night also features another UK premiere by Barcelona based Vavel Circus, an all-female troupe who will perform Garbuix at Seachange's Drill House. An effervescent family show, featuring endless physical and linguistic tricks, dancing nuns, stunning cycle circus and a comedy polar bear, it is one of only two ticketed shows at the festival but tickets are 'pay what you can'.
The festival organisers have also added a family zone this year and the Saturday Sound Stage – an outdoor music stage, presented in partnership with Access to Music and Norwich Arts Centre, and featuring seven of the regions finest young bands and singer-songwriters
• Out There Festival of Circus & Street Arts takes place in St George's Park and around Great Yarmouth on September 16 and 17. Find out more about the mostly free fun at outtherefestival.com5 SHOWS NOT TO MISS
Garbuix – Vavel Circus
Saturday, 9pm at The Drill House
With five women, performing in five languages, you'd think it might get complicated, but Garbuix is an astounding piece of crazy comedy circus that relies on astounding visual gags.
Sense of Unity – Dundu & Worldbeaters
Saturday, 7.20pm, St George's Park
The spectacular illuminated world of Dundu and Worldbeaters brings a visual night time spectacle fusing large scale outdoor puppetry, light, music and audience participation.
All at Sea – Acrojou
Saturday/Sunday, various times, St George's Park
A piece of beautiful bittersweet promenade theatre set in a rowing boat with its own soundscape and unpredictable weather system.
How I Hacked My Way Into Space – Unlimited Theatre
Saturday/Sunday, various times, Trafalgar Road
Think Dave Gorman meets Professor Brian Cox in this family storytelling show about one man's mission to hack his way into space from his garden shed.
©15ft6 – 15ft6
Saturday 1.25pm/Sunday 1.50pm, St George's Park
From Belgium, a rock 'n' roll show packed full of extraordinary, explosive circus performed on bicycles, Russian bar and tennis ball machines!
OUT THERE BY NUMBERS…
More than 100 international artists
Around 150 hours of free entertainment
9 UK premieres
More than 10 nations represented
1 garden shed space centre!