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On balance, festival will be great event

PUBLISHED: 10:30 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:02 03 July 2010

The wobbles and stumbles showed how hard it is to walk a tightrope - even when it is only 2ft off the ground.

The invitation to all-comers in Yarmouth Market Place yesterday was designed to heighten expectation ahead of the arrival of Frenchman Didier Pasquette, reputed to be the world's leading high-wire performer.

The wobbles and stumbles showed how hard it is to walk a tightrope - even when it is only 2ft off the ground.

The invitation to all-comers in Yarmouth Market Place yesterday was designed to heighten expectation ahead of the arrival of Frenchman Didier Pasquette, reputed to be the world's leading high-wire performer.

Mr Pasquette, whose death-defying act has graced some of the world's most famous venues, from the Rover Thames in London to the Stade de France in Paris, will be walking 15m above the crowds in Yarmouth Market Place from the top of Palmers department store to Market Gates shopping centre.

The daring stunt - performed without safety net -will take place at 6pm on Saturday, November 1, and is being billed as a dazzling highlight of the town's first Out There festival.

The festival programme, put together at a cost of more than £180,000 by the town's SeaChange Arts charity, begins in earnest on Thursday, October 30, and finishes on Sunday, November 2, with an international music festival bringing together high- calibre musicians from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brazil and Iceland.

Other highlights will include a colourful Latin-style carnival event, presented by Dende theatre company working with local people, a host of street acts and a show at the Hippodrome which has Royal Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and an orchestra playing instruments made out of rubbish on the same bill.

The Market Place is being transformed into a festival village for the event and attractions will range from a demonstration by blacksmiths to a working wood-fired Finnish sauna which people will be able to enter to watch projections.

Palmers' boss Bruce Sturrock said: “The festival is going to be a great event for the town. The last time we had a tightrope walker here, in 1997, the Market Place was as crowded as I have ever seen it.”

Ken Farquhar, from Norwich, who tours schools to demonstrate science using circus skills, was on hand yesterday to explain how people could learn to walk the tightrope “by applying simple forces”. However, he admitted that yesterday's modest demonstration rope was “Vauxhall Conference compared to the Premier League”.

“Everyone starts at a low level, but when you are looking down from three storeys up and affected by the weather, that's something else,” he said.

Mr Pasquette, who will arrive on the Friday to set up his rope to the correct tension, was taught by fellow countryman Philippe Petit, renowned for a high-wire walk between the former Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Centre.

Dende is recruiting for its C-Attack show. For details, call Corrina Giles at SeaChange on 01493 846187.

Visit www.outtherefestival.com for more information.

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