Preview: Showzam! 2015’s outdoor programme is streets apart

Dancing in the streets? That’s nothing – take a look at the programme for Showzam! 2015 and you’ll realise that a little foot tapping is the last thing on the minds of the wide and wacky array of street entertainers. A jet-pack propelled roller skater, hair-raising style creations and life-size dinosaurs are just some of the acts set to take to the streets of Blackpool for this year’s festival.

More than 40 separate performances will take place on the streets for the town’s annual February Festival of Fun, now in its eighth year. In all there will be more than 70 entertainers taking to the streets of the town, performing in venues and entertaining crowds in the Winter Gardens Showzam! Central during the five-day festival, which this year takes Circus as its theme.

But it’s the street theatre, which will take place each day from Sat 14 Feb to Tue 17 Feb,  that reaches out to so many people, whether they are visiting the festival or not and Michael Trainor, Artistic Director at LeftCoast, responsible for programming this year’s Showzam!, said it’s a great way of engaging with people.

He said: “Obviously we want everyone to be talking about Showzam! and planning to come to enjoy the different elements of the festival but, if for whatever reason people are unable to come and see what’s happening in the various venues, they still get to experience it simply by walking down the street.

“Showzam! is all about engaging with people and giving them the opportunity to enjoy live theatre and performances. Street theatre does just that without anybody needing to even change their normal routine. That’s the beauty of it, so if you are at work but have nipped out for a sandwich or if you are visiting one of the town’s magnificent attractions, then the odds are you’re going to enjoy some pretty spectacular street theatre from Showzam! at some point.”

Highlights of the street theatre include:

  • Ulik will take to the streets beating his over-sized drums and firing confetti from a gun while also showing off his amazing roller-skating skills as he’s thrust forward by a jet-pack
  • Join the Delinus tour and hop on a tiny bus where driver Suzy will help you discover new paths
  • The hugely entertaining Mysterieuse Coiffures from France will literally leave your hair standing on end as you are treated to a bizarre and very memorable new hair-do
  • Hocus Pocus Sideshow of Curiosities will be taking to the streets with their Bearded Lady and fortune-telling Gypsy
  • Giant, pre-historic beasts from Close Up will charge through crowds looking for food to calm their hunger. But there will be no need to panic as these ‘Sauruses’ are strictly vegetarian!

Michael added:  “Street theatre is a huge part of Showzam! as people have come to expect that they will come across the weird and the wonderful performing on the streets during the festival. [This year] will be no different and we are looking forward to seeing the reaction on people’s faces as they realise just what we have in store for them.”

Cllr Graham Cain, Blackpool Council cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “The amount of street theatre taking place as part of Showzam! means that no one who goes into the town centre will miss out on the festival.

“Whether you’ve booked to attend lots of the events – both paid and free – or you’re just passing by, you are bound to get a flavour of what Showzam! is all about. The aim is to engage with people and ensure everyone can enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

Showzam! 2015 runs from February 14 to 18. In the event of bad weather, the street theatre performances will take place inside the Winter Gardens as part of Showzam! Central.

Other highlights of the festival include:

Circolombia – South American circus starts show off their breath-taking skills in this daily performance in the Blackpool Tower Circus – Tickets £5 adults, £4 children, £20 family.

Showzam! Central – FREE entry daily in the Winter Gardens (Sat 14 Feb to Tue 17 Feb) where you can experience side shows, performances and practice circus skills.

Carnival Ball – one of Blackpool’s biggest nights of the year. This year be entertained in the magnificent Blackpool Tower Ballroom with an abundance of Showzam! artistes and drag queen compere Jonny Woo. Tickets £20 (Over 18s only).

Monsters of Schlock – Canadian madmen and brothers of bodily abuse perform amazing feats and mind-blowing stunts. Sunday 15 – Tuesday 17 7.30pm Pavilion Theatre, Winter Gardens £8 (over 16s only).

Abi Collins – and hilarity of cabaret queen Abigail Collins, with song, dance, hula hoops, magic and her favourite cocktails (served on her head) making this a hilarious, off-the-wall, one-woman roller-coaster of a show. Sunday 15 – Tuesday 17 9pm Pavilion Theatre, Winter Gardens £8 (over 18s only).

To find out more go to www.showzam.co.uk

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