Stockton International Riverside Festival is one of the biggest and longest-running street theatre festivals in the UK. Over the last 20 years it has gone from strength to strength under the careful watch of artistic director Frank Wilson from Event International. We’re proud to have contributed to several productions at Stockton over the years, but this latest extravaganza tops them all for several reasons.
Firstly: being up against it. Sometimes it happens. Especially in outdoor events. Especially in the UK. Despite all the planning and contingency and slack in production schedules, the weather is so bad for such a long continuous period of time that you simply can’t make progress safely. This is what hit the production team of Voala’s “High” show, to which we were contributing some pyro enhancement. The company had only been able to rehearse their stunning crane-based aerial routine once and just a few hours before the show itself.
Secondly: complexity and demands on space. As you can see from the photo, there was a lot going on in this show; on the ground, on the stage and especially up in the air. All of the show elements had to work as a team to make sure that performers, structures and crane jibs were clear of pyro airspace before the 3 pyro music tracks began, while avoiding excessive down-time when nothing was happening. It required a lot of concentration from a lot of people, a lot of cooperation from a lot of people, and great communication during the show itself.
The audience response to the whole production was great, and client feedback was unequivocal: “great work!”