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Outdoor theate treat

PUBLISHED: 16:56 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 03 July 2010

Hocus Pocus Theatre

Hocus Pocus Theatre

SUMMER may soon be over but the temperature will be rising next week when thousands of people take to the streets of Great Yarmouth for a weekend of spectacular outdoor theatre and entertainment.

SUMMER may soon be over but the temperature will be rising next week when thousands of people take to the streets of Great Yarmouth for a weekend of spectacular outdoor theatre and entertainment.

More than 90 spectacles performed by 31 companies from around the world will provide free entertainment through the weekend of September 19 and 20.

But although the plan is to provide some sensational viewing, the Out There Festival will offer chances for more adventurous spectators to try everything for themselves from urban dancing and spray art to circus skills, parkour and the Custard Pie Olympics.

The King's Lynn Free Runners are a group of six teenagers who will perform and help train enthusiasts in parkour and free running with stunts such as flips, vaults and landings.

In contrast is Titan the Robot who will be wandering the Market Place and seafront teasing onlookers about the closely guarded secret of how it works.

Titan has performed all round the world, emphasising the international flavour of the festival.

Essex-based Abi Collins, for example, will be bringing in her comic act to Yarmouth after performing in the Columbian mountains in South America.

Half-naked chef Steve 'Woko' Jackson, an Australian TV cook, gives a culinary demo that would make Delia Smith's hair stand on end. Let's be havin' 'im!

And the Netherlands-based Close Act will be presenting their 20ft Sauruses, giant beasts from prehistoric times, moving through the crowd looking for food to ease their hunger!

It's one of two Dutch acts at the event and Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of organisers Seachange Arts, expects links to develop over the coming years, hopefully boosted one day by a passenger ferry between Yarmouth's new outer harbour and Holland.

There will be hundreds of Yarmouth locals among the 700 entertainers, giant puppets, towering beasts and mythical creatures involved in the three musical masquerade parades from the seafront, Market Place and King Street to the hub of the festival at St George's Park - getting the event under way on Saturday.

They set off at 11am just after French tightrope artist Didier Pasquette plans his breathtaking stunt on the seafront, walking a 300ft long highwire about 50ft above Marine Parade from the esplanade to the Windmill Theatre.

After that, there will be a day of entertainment until the spectacular pyrotechnic finale from the Sealife Centre green at 7.45pm. If bad weather thwarts Didier in the morning, he will make a second attempt just before the fireworks.

Later there will be cabaret at a range of venues around the town before everyone returns on Sunday for another day (11am-4pm) of offbeat visual and theatrical entertainment. It includes the Custard Pie Olympics (get involved if you dare) from the Bureau of Silly Ideas in St George's Park at high noon.

It's a weekend which aims to put the seaside town at the forefront of UK street theatre.

Full details: www.outtherefestival.com

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