How are you planning to spend your summer? Lying on a beach with a book? Perhaps for a little while, but now that natural tans are so out, it seems a little pointless to spend the whole season scrubbing sand out from between your toes. Hmm. How about something that takes you to different countries, lets you explore local communities and locations and gives you a good dollop of culture with serious street-cred. Sounds perfect? Read on…
In Situ is a pan-European festival of street theatre, bringing together some of the most exciting outdoor acts from the continent. There are loads of performers and festivals involved, so wherever you are based (or holidaying!) there is bound to be something nearby. Exciting and unique, street theatre mixes music, dance, theatre and visual arts to create some interesting experiences that often have a strong bond to their location. Established in 2003, In Situ aims to help these outdoor performers create shows for public areas and gives them a helping hand with touring across Europe – which means you no longer have to travel to the furthest reaches of Europe to see your favourite tin-band-accompanying-ballet-and-mime acts. With co-organisers and partners in countries throughout Europe, this is one of the most comprehensively organised street theatre collectives the continent has to offer.
The 2009 season is showcasing 20 different exciting shows. Start your summer with a bang courtesy of The World Famous’ ‘Full Circle’, a spectacular pyrotechnic performance that explores the relationship between humanity and the world around us. Using sound recordings from Thor McIntyre-Burnie and the live music of the Slovenian musicians of Terrafolk, the production combines music with light and visual effects to present the changes of the seasons.
Don’t worry if that sounds a little abstract or ‘artsy’, the festival isn’t just about musical interpretations and profound, global ideas. Film Noir and comic book buffs should get themselves to Angers, France in June for ‘Une Cerise Noire‘, a promenade performance that gives the audience a sneak peek into the fictional filming of a detective movie in the 50s. Streets become studios as classic characters are thrown into chaos by their power-hungry director. Expect plenty of mystery, mayhem and what looks like a lot of fun.
For something a little more chilled out, visit ‘Page Blanche‘ in Linz, Austria, a site-specific art installation created in harmony with its local surroundings. Video projections, paintings, graphics and performance will all come together to create a unique narrative that combines the languages and ideas of performers from across Europe.
The festival is masterminded by six co-organisers in five countries. One of these is the Oerol Festival (12-21 June) on the island of Terschelling in the northern Netherlands. The festival is a taste of everything that makes street theatre so exciting, including genuine local origins and connections. The festival started with expressions of joy at being able to let cattle roam free across the island, and these days, it brings together location and landscape theatre in the forms of music, dance, opera, theatre and visual arts throughout the island. Fitting, as Oerol means ‘everywhere’!
If this has whet your appetite for some exciting street theatre this summer, have a look at the website as there are loads of performances, in plenty of different countries. The whole agenda is available online so find out what’s on near you, or what would be a great excuse for some travelling!
Events take place over the summer months.