Blackpool’s annual festival celebrating Circus, Magic and New Variety, Showzam!, is to benefit from a £99k arts grant.

2014 marks the seventh year of this popular festival which returns from February 14 – 23 and aims to engage residents and attract visitors through a variety of shows and performances. Arts Council England has confirmed a grant of £99k to help organisers, Marketing Blackpool, fund the festival.

The Arts Council funding will directly support five Showzam! shows:

  • No FitState Circus – a FREE show held in Showzam! Central in the Winter Gardens Olympia. This specially commissioned show will run throughout the day every day with regular 15 minute performances
  • Meet the Hogwallops – Lost in Translation Circus will perform three shows at the Grand Theatre entertaining a family audience with this vulgar and grotesque family who live in a fantastic and bizarrely funny world
  • B – an original theatrical circus show that blends bubbles with dance, juggling, acrobatic, sand, magic and special effects, all in a themed, visual, entertaining and colourful performance in The Blackpool Tower Circus
  • Wondertours – actors will work with local school children and host workshops teaching them about the history of entertainment in Blackpool and Wakes Weeks. This will be followed with immersive street theatre where spectators will be invited to follow Wondertours around Blackpool
  • Street Theatre – a full programme of street theatre running throughout the festival

Natalie Wyatt, Managing Director of Marketing Blackpool, said:

It is great news that Arts Council England has awarded us £99k as this makes a big difference to the variety of shows we can offer.

It is also recognition from them that Blackpool is providing a value and valid service to both residents and visitors by offering such diverse festivals.

Showzam! is a really exciting event in Blackpool’s calendar which brings the resort’s rich history of entertainment into the spotlight while celebrating our heritage and cultural offering.

There is always a huge variety of shows on offer with many free events and performances taking place thus ensuring as many people as possible are able to take part.”

The full programme for Showzam! 2014 will be available soon but activities confirmed so far include children’s favourite Sooty at the Opera House, a series of dance, magic and creative workshops at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and a variety of tours including Winter Gardens, backstage at The Pleasure Beach, The Blackpool Tower and The Grand Theatre.

Tickets are also on sale now for the Carnival Ball which has a 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll theme.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Arts Council England Director North, said:

I am pleased that the Arts Council is supporting Showzam! and that our investment has helped to develop new commissioned premieres with nationally and internationally renowned contemporary circus companies and the brilliant  Showzam! street theatre programme.

The festival is a fantastic example of how to inspire local communities as well as visitors and tourists.

Many Showzam! events are free and tickets for all shows are available through the Showzam! website and VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre.

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