Introducing our SIRF Correspondents…

We have 15 young people (aged 16-20) taking part in our SIRF17 Correspondents volunteer’s programme. Their role is to capture their own unique coverage of SIRF and SIRF performances including behind the scenes rehearsals and stage/set constructions. They will posting directly to the SIRF social media pages (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) and writing a daily blog to be published below.



Frameshift Build Up

Towering over the river is the stage for the greatest time travelling spectacle of the year. Yep, I said it; this is even bigger than the latest Dr Who announcement. The stage is of course for the opening night of SIRF and performers from Korea and Australia will be swinging around it to entertain us all come Thursday night in a performance they call Frameshift. I’d definitely recommend you come down to see it, especially after the fun we had when we paid them a visit this afternoon.

The structure is huge. Honestly, don’t underestimate the size of this performance. The scaffolding didn’t look like anything other than, well, a tall piece of scaffolding until Rick from Stalker Theatre started running around the outside of it. Seriously impressive stuff. Despite a little bit of liquid sunshine during our visit, performers from both groups were in high spirits, telling us of their excitement to perform and showing us a few of the tricks they had up their sleeve. They didn’t give a lot away, so if you’re looking for spoilers I am afraid I don’t have any, however, I’ll do my best to explain the act a little more – hopefully doing it justice whilst I do!

Basically, Frameshift is a collaboration between an Australian physical theatre company and a Korean vertical performance group, as well as a Korean B-boy (which is breakdancing for those like me that aren’t up to date with the lingo) group that aim to show us Korea in 1926, 2016 and 2106 – see, time travel!! They will use aerial rigs to move around the scaffolding that will be lit up by interactive video technology and honestly, I can’t wait.

Another SIRF Correspondent, Adam Loraine, interviewed the Stage Director at the set this afternoon and wrote up this quick interview to give us a snippet of life behind the scenes.

Q. Mike can you tell us anything about Thursday night’s performance?
A. “Well we’re trying to keep things quiet until the opening of the festival, but we have performed Frameshift in Seoul (South Korea) earlier this year. This piece is a co-production between us at Stalker Theatre in Australia and Creative Dandi and others from South Korea. Expect B-boying, an impressive lighting rig and aerial rigs throughout!”

Q. How long have Stalker Theatre been putting on performances such as this?
A. “Stalker Theatre has been together since the 1980’s, so that’s 30+ years of physical theatre that’s been shown around the world. I’ve been with the group since 2008. Frameshift specifically has been toured at 3 Korean festivals this year, and the performance is exclusive to SIRF and Stockton in the UK. We’re planning on taking it to Poland next year and then creating a different project entirely for China in December.”

Q. How long does it take to plan a performance like Frameshift?
A. “Between the whole team Frameshift took around 4 months to plan and sort out the logistics for, which seems like a lot of time for a small amount of performances. Thankfully we didn’t have to bring all of the equipment to the UK with us as it was a company in Newcastle that created the material and scaffold needed for the performance – all we needed to do was build it. It’s funny to think we’ve got a huge structure with us and all I’ve brought from Australia is my suitcase!”

The air of mystery surrounding this act makes it very exciting and the sheer size of it doubles that excitement again. It is going to be one heck of a start to SIRF so make sure you head down to the Riverside on Thursday night at 10pm to see it for yourself. As always, keep up to date with us on social media to find out more from the festival, and of course some backstage gossip!

Jess Hugill
SIRF Correspondent

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