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Roll Up, Roll Up…. Showzam! 2016 line-up revealed

Blackpool’s annual festival of circus and performance returns this February half-term for eight days of fun-packed thrills and spills for all the family.

After months scouring Europe for the best cutting edge and comedic artistes, Showzam! organisers LeftCoast today announced the stunning full line-up for this year’s festival (February 13-20).

French circus stars AKOREACRO will make their UK premier in Blackpool Tower Circus with a stupendous seven-day run showcasing their blend of high octane circus skills and music.

BIVOUAC – one of Europe’s most talked about outdoor performances – will put on a “vibrant and anarchic” mass street theatre show featuring pyrotechnics, a rock soundtrack and a crazy cast of blue-painted men and a fire-breathing dog.

And SHOWZAM! CENTRAL – the FREE four-day family circus and street arts extravaganza – is back with a host of stunning acts, which can today be revealed.

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, said: “We have spent the last few months putting together a line-up which is not only unique for the UK, in terms of its artistic calibre and breadth of genres, but one we feel sure has something for everyone.

“This year’s Showzam! is shaping up to be the best yet and we feel sure the quality line-up of international artists and performers from the UK and Europe will leave audiences entranced, enthralled and screaming for more.”

Running between Saturday February 13, from 12pm to 5pm, and Sunday 14 to Tuesday 16, from 11am to 4pm, Showzam! Central will feature a number of FREE shows within Blackpool Winter Gardens and on the streets of the town centre:

The acts include:

  • ILLUSIONS, DELUSIONS, DELIGHT AND GLORY is the theme as sideshow sensations  Barnard, Hicks & Jones (UK) perform “acts of the awesome and feats of fearless ferocity”
  • Dutch CLOSE ACT THEATRE will challenge the sense with “an impetuous platoon of characters moving through the streets in a curious combination of strict discipline and frantic behaviour”
  • Prepare to be charmed by BARADA STREET as Richard (UK) and Juri (Kyrgyzstan) bring a playful blend of music, acrobatics, humour and the highest level of poetic elegance
  • LOUGAROCK, performed by Compagnie du Théâtre du Vertige (France) will see a 3m tall werewolf roam the streets on a steampunk engine with the promise “You might never be the same after having seen and touched this animal”
  • Street entertainment is the name of the game for De Stijle, Want (Netherlands) whose LUNAPARK show includes audience members entering a magical tent where “visitors are vigorously brought face to face with each other and themselves”
  • Master balloonist Dizzy O’Dare’s GIANT BALLOON SHOW will take everything you know about balloons and twist it into an innovative theatrical experience featuring high energy comic performance and, of course, the all-important giant balloon!
  • French acts Les Goulus present THE HORSEMEN – Three comedic horse riders who leave crowds howling with their rather snooty take on how equestrian stars see the world… Gallic-style
  • SIDESHOW STORIES featuring mouth-juggler extraordinaire Rod Laver and hula-hooping funny girl Abigail Collins
  • UK troupe Hocus Pocus Theatre’s SHOW ON THE ROAD invites you into their wardrobe of Victorian theatrical wonder where you can dress up and take photos of yourself in silly costumes
  • BERNARD’S PUPPET BONANZA is presented by Pickled Image (UK) and is a disaster-prone old-time puppet show which sees backstage mayhem laid bare and an “hysterically combustive climax”
  • Laughs are a plenty as PasParTouT (Germany) present COCK-TALES – a magnificently feathered and musical poultry trio who play the parts of human chickens with comedic brilliance
  • Think you’ve seen Punch & Judy well think again as The Electric Sunshine Project (UK) present THE TRAGICAL, COMICAL, DIABOLICAL MR PUNCH a newly imagined puppet and live performance show that has been specially created in Blackpool for Showzam!

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, added: “Showzam! is always a fantastic festival for all the family and this year’s line-up looks better than ever.

“The shows are a perfect blend of funny, fearless and staggering and there is something for absolutely everybody.

“In order to make the most of the large variety of acts, you really need to be spending a few nights in the town, by staying in a nearby hotel and checking out everything that Blackpool has to offer over the course of the February half term.”

The full programme will be out next week, so make sure you pick up a copy from the Winter Gardens, VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre or key hotels, venues and attractions across the resort.  If you can’t wait, you can download and view a copy now by clicking here or visiting the website www.showzam.co.uk.

All performances at Showzam Central are free as is Bivouac’s sensational open air performance on Saturday February 13. It is a mobile show which starts and ends at St John’s Square. For full timings and a map of the route go to www.showzam.co.uk

Among the other Showzam! highlights will be the annual Carnival Ball at Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday February 13. A stunning mix of cool cabaret and stomping dance tunes, it stars host Abigail Collins, electro-swing band Electric Swing Circus and a host of top class performers from across Europe.

Tickets for Carnival Ball and Akoreacro at The Tower Circus – are available to buy now on the Showzam! website www.showzam.co.uk

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