Legendary French show Bivouac to invade streets of Blackpool

Blue-painted men and a fire-breathing dog are heading to Blackpool for Showzam! – the resort’s annual festival of circus and performance.

Bivouac, one of Europe’s most legendary and talked about outdoor performances, will hit the streets in February for a jaw-dropping piece of roaming theatre that will see the town centre transformed into a stage of light, music, smoke and flame.

Produced by French artists Générik Vapeur – and featuring pyrotechnics, a rock soundtrack and a weird and wonderful cast of blue figures, the ‘vibrant and anarchic’ street procession includes 102 oil drums, a flame-breathing mechanical pooch, abseiling and a suitably surreal storyline.

The free and interactive performance from 5.15pm on Saturday February 13 starts and finishes in St John’s Square and takes in a route that includes such famous landmarks as the Winter Gardens, Promenade and The Blackpool Tower as it moves around town.

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, which is organising this year’s Showzam! festival, said: “Bivouac is a legendary street show that has lit up cities across Europe over the past 20 years.

“It will take over the town centre in a huge piece of nomadic theatre which will see 30 blue figures turn streets and buildings into a stage of smoke and flame.

“It is fully interactive, indeed the audience is very much part of the show as all manner of unusual and out of this world sights and sounds go on around them.

“Blackpool has seen nothing like this before and Bivouac will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of both Showzam! and 2016.”

The 90 minute long show – which will feature students from Blackpool and The Fylde College in a specially commissioned section unique to Blackpool – will follow a prearranged route. It will turn buildings and structures along the way into performance stages, before a spectacular climax in St John’s Square.

Michael added: “This is going to be an event that will live long in the memory.

“Générik Vapeur are renowned as one of the finest street arts organisations in Europe so this really is a massive coup for Blackpool and Showzam! We can’t wait for the big night.”

Showzam! has become a firm favourite in Blackpool’s annual entertainment calendar. Last year’s festival attracted more than 25,000 visitors, boosting the town’s economy by an estimated £2m.

Showzam! 2016 will be staged from February 13-20. Among the highlights will the annual Carnival Ball at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday February 13, starring host Abigail Collins, electro-swing band Electric Swing Circus and a host of top class performers from across Europe.

A week of circus fun, live performance and street theatre will follow during the half-term break at Showzam! Central – based at the Winter Gardens. The full programme for Showzam! Central will be released tomorrow (January 14).

Showzam! 2016 also boasts the UK debut of French circus company Akoreacro which will perform a week-long series of shows at the Tower Circus beginning on February 13.

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