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Emotional outdoor performance starts SIRF18 in style with tribute to war veterans

03 August 2018

Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) got off to a flying start last night (Thursday 2 August) with an epic launch event, 'This Is Not For You' from theatre company Graeae.

Image of SIRF 18 outdoor performance

What was the launch show about?

The outdoor show saw performers from 'Blesma, The Limbless Veterans', professional performers and local community choirs from across the Tees Valley pay a moving tribute to Britain's wounded war veterans. It is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

More than 700 people packed into a special viewing area on Stockton high street to witness the defiant and open-hearted show.

'This Is Not For You' is produced by Graeae Theatre Company, whose Artistic Director, Jenny Sealey, co-directed the London Paralympic opening ceremony.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: "It was a really moving experience and it felt like a real privilege to watch the veterans in action performing their tribute, especially given the poignancy of the show premiering 100 years from the end of the First World War.

"It has started this year's SIRF in truly stunning style and I'm really excited to be in Stockton over the weekend to take in all of the shows and carnival atmosphere."

This looked great! Will 'This Is Not For You' be performed again and where can I find out more about what is happening at SIRF this weekend?

There's no need to worry, there is still chance to see 'This Is Not For You' for yourself!

Although the evening performance is now sold out there's a matinee performance today (Friday) at 2.30pm which is free to see but it is ticketed and in high demand.  If you're unable to secure tickets for these performances - there are close to 150 other free shows on offer for all ages that don't require a ticket - it's set to be the biggest and best yet! 

For tickets, more information about SIRF and to view the full festival programme, visit or visit the Rediscover Stockton Shop on Stockton high street.