Wall to wall theatre, music and dance will be the order of the day at this year’s Stockton International Riverside Festival which starts on Thursday 31 July.

On Friday 1 August Catalan performing arts company Ponten Pie will launch their sensory adventure, Artica on Trinity Green in Stockton Town Centre.

Temperatures inside Trinity Church will be dropped while visitors are greeted by a host of curious characters and offered a beautiful recycled coat to wear.  Indoors, moving visuals and poetry are set to transport people into a world of warming memories and nostalgia.

From Friday 1 to Sunday 3 August Ponten Pie will perform Artica at Trinity Church at 12noon, 1.30pm, 3.15pm, 4.45pm, 6.15pm and 7.45pm.  Each performance has a limited capacity of 20 people. Tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served for each performance from 11am on the day of the performance from the information point on Trinity Green. Wheelchair users can secure their tickets in advance by contacting arts@stockton.gov.uk

Another performance sure to entice the crowds is El Laberint, a playful quest through a crazy network of transparent doors and windows.

Itinerania, the Catalonian performance company behind El Laberint, invites audiences to make their way through the Labyrinth by creating their own unique journey. This special challenge is a collaborative experience for all ages that will test participants’ mettle and ingenuity as they make their way through the colourful maze.

Everyone is invited to solve the Labyrinth on Trinity Green on Friday 1 August, Saturday 2 August and Sunday 3 August at 1pm to 4pm and 5pm to 8pm.

Stockton’s High Street will be the stage for a contemporary dance show depicting struggle and power play on Saturday 2 August at 1pm and 5pm and Sunday 3 August at 2.15pm and 7pm.

Two for C performed by Candoco Dance Company is inspired by Tennessee William’s play Camino Real.  It explores a world in which a couple is trapped in a longstanding relationship and is set to traditional Mexican Ranchera music. The disabled and non-disabled dancers will wear Mexican wrestling masks to suggest a deeper, darker force at work.

Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “There are only days left to go until Stockton’s four day festival of theatre, dance and music returns for its 27th year.

“We are looking forward to welcoming these fantastic performers to our Borough and hope visitors to the festival will enjoy their intriguing tales, curious characters and unusual forces.  With more than 100 free shows packed into the four day festival there is something for everyone so make sure you visit www.sirf.co.uk for all the details.”

To see the full festival programme, visit the SIRF website on www.sirf.co.uk   SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.

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