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Family friendly SIRF: Eight unmissable shows and activities

29 July 2022
Collage of four photos with paper mini city and children dressed as dinosaurs in top left, group with oboe and drums in top right, two  people in front of stage door in bottom left, and people doing parkour in bottom right

Collage of four photos with paper mini city and children dressed as dinosaurs in top left, group with oboe and drums in top right, two  people in front of stage door in bottom left, and people doing parkour in bottom right

Godzillatown, vegetable puppets, old skool games - and even a visit to the Raj - SIRF22 is packed full of fun for the entire family!

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: "This year's SIRF programme is jam-packed with a huge variety of dance, theatre and acrobatic performances and with plenty of free, family-friendly entertainment there's lots for people of all ages and interests to enjoy over the four days.

"Take a look through the festival programme and look out for the 'family friendly' balloon symbol to help plan your visit."

These are just some of the highlights most suitable for a family audience at SIRF 2022:

Arts Award 

Parish Gardens - Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August, 1pm - 6pm

Stockton Riverside - Sunday 7 August, 12pm-1.45pm and 2.45pm-5.45pm

For the first time at SIRF, children and young people aged five and over can take part in the Arts Award Discover introductory award.

The award is a national qualification that aims to nurture an interest in the arts, build confidence and life skills and supporting education and future employment.

Look out for the BloomInArts team in Parish Gardens or take part in any of the many Carnival workshops to complete your Arts Award.

Madame Zucchini - Madame Zucchini and her Amazing Vegetable Entertainment

Parish Gardens

Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August, 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm

Watch Madame Zucchini craft a unique world where vegetables - and sometimes fruit - are the stars of the show, with characters like Leek Skywalker, Darth Tater, Justin Timberleek and Cresstina Aguilera featuring in this fun performance. Come see the characters and make your own art with the vegetables provided.

At the end of each day, join Madame Zucchini in her new eco themed veg puppet show "The Veg Avengers save Beanworld!" starring Spudderman, Thortichoke and leafy eco-warrior Greta Iceberg. This show will have a BSL interpreter present.

Whalley Range All Stars - Godzillatown

Parish Gardens

Friday 5 August, 12.30pm and 4pm
Saturday 6 August, 12pm and 4pm

SIRF favourites Whalley Range All Stars return to SIRF - this time with a 10m x 10m model of Godzillatown in the form of a maze.

Find your way through the maze but remember to make and take a Godzilla puppet to help navigate your way around before you enter!

Urban Playground - Zoo Humans

High Street Plinth

Sunday 7 August, 3pm and 5pm

Inspired by news that three quarters of young people in the UK spend less time outdoors than prisoners, Zoo Humans sees the Urban Playground team bring their distinctive performance-parkour, narrated by David Attenborough, to a group of humans on the verge of forgetting how to move.

Featuring dance at speed and height, the troupe decide if they'll swap touchscreens for human contact and risk their comfort for the great outdoors. Following the 5pm performance there's a chance to join in as part of stay and play activity.

Fully Booked Theatre - String and Strong's Great Big Game-a-thon

High Street Walkabout

Friday 5 August and Saturday 6 August, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.15pm

A firm SIRF favourite, Fully Booked Theatre invite everyone to join String and Strong for anarchic fun and 'Old Skool' games with a little help from parents and children alike. This energy-packed performance will entertain anyone with lots of audience participation.

Stockton Riverside Carnival activities:

Circus Raj - Grand Indian Bazaar 

Sunday 7 August, 3pm, 5pm, 6.45pm

Wander through this colourful hive of activity and a window into the way of life in Rajasthan. Bring out your creativity with circus-skills, dressing up and crafts workshops.

Northern Print

Sunday 7 August, 12pm and 2.45pm

Try your hand at printmaking at Riverside with Newcastle-based Northern Print. Using traditional techniques, make a vibrant, personalised SIRF postcard to take away as a souvenir of SIRF's big comeback.

Glass House Dance - Time Machine Disco

Sunday 7 August, 4.15pm and 7.30pm 

Calling all foot-tappers, dad dancers, disco divas, jumping jivers, old school ravers and shake-your-money-makers. Join the party and step back in time on a clubbing journey through the ages. Time Machine Disco is a participatory performance for the whole family to release their inner rebel, become the performers and take over the street.

SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.

For all the latest information visit the SIRF website.

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