XTRAX Showcase 2004
Angela Sidwell Eagle and Wolf (outdoor)
Angela is a sculptor who works with natural materials modelled around a steel frame. She likes her creations to ‘grow out of their own surroundings’.
Aqueous Humour The Sky Muffins (outdoor)
Debonair without the rage and armed with ever-ready smiles and synchronised manoeuvres, The Sky Muffins will ensure that your day goes without a bump! Street theatre with a chaotic twist.
Architects of Air (outdoor)
Architects of Air build luminaria, giant inflatable palaces of colour and light designed by Alan Parkinson. For x.trax they will bring a new structure ï¿½ kick off you shoes, enter and be amazed.
Artizani Syrovy (outdoor)
Inspired by the comic routines of Buster Keaton, Harpo Marx, Gene Kelly and Neil Armstrong, Syrovy is beset on all sides as everyday objects conspire against him: newspapers become sails, there is a waterfall of cutlery, he dances with chairs and clothes confound him.
Artizani Farmer Giles (outdoor)
Farmer Giles leans over his five bar gate and gives advice on any subject from farming (about which he knows little) to philosophy (about which he knows less).
Asere (Cuba) (music)
Sensational Cuban band with a contemporary twist on the dance tradition.
Avanti Display Mr Luckyï¿½s Birthday Party (outdoor)
Mr Lucky returns – as usual, all alone and under a perpetual downpour – to celebrate his birthday. Sitting in a cafï¿½, his luck is about to turn as heï¿½s joined by a guest and romance blossoms. As the party commences, the weather worsens, the downpour increases and their mood blackens. In typical Avanti style it concludes with a bizarre, spectacular and unexpected twist.
Axial Dance ’Bubble’ (outdoor)
An intriguing dance theatre duet taking place in a cocoon of plastic reminiscent of a novelty snowstorm: shake it up and blue feathers rain down on a white world in which our dancers dream!
Bash Street Theatre Frankenstein (outdoor)
A comic horror, silent movie show Bash Streetï¿½s re-working of this classic tale of man and monster is much more comic than gothic. This hour-long show is performed on and around a 20ft high set, with a stunning life-giving machine as its centre-piece. An action-packed family show, it features live piano accompaniment, death-defying stunts, comedy, pathos, and much more.
The Shout Band tradition of the South Eastern United States originated from the exuberant church music of North Carolina. African – American brass players formed bands predominantly trombone-based, inspired by jazz, blues and Dixieland, gospel and old-time spirituals: imagine a more souful version of a New Orleans Brass Band. Star trombonist Dennis Rollins has reinterpreted this Black musical tradition and brought together the UK’s top jazz, funk, Latin and Ska trombonists to form his own ‘Shout Band’.
Bureau of Silly Ideas The Small Job / The Ground Job (outdoor)
The Small Job – is an explosive hole digging, acrobatic adventure proving that blood is thicker than tarmac. Road works have never before been a source of entertainment until now as our 3 circus brothers arrive to work on your street! This 40 minute show is a highflying acrtobatic slapstick farce set in an everyday work scene. The Ground Job – is a colleciton of animated street furniture reminds us that there is more to life than meets the eye. These machines are expertly operated by a team of character players. Barry the mobile loo is about to be let loose in the Garden of Delights so be aware!
Chapeau Magique (France) Magic hat workshops (outdoor)
An invitation to a journey through origami and an opportunity to make a great hat and stand out from the crowd.
Cie des Quatre Saisons (Belgium) Big Mama (outdoor)
Big Mama would like to be discreet, to fade into the background but she is so tall (4.5 metres) and so beautiful that everybody follows her as she parades and twirls – stopping now and then to reveal her secrets.
Circo Imperfecto (Spain/Catalonia) (outdoor)
The perfect street artist duo, have found the perfect spot to perform their show. They begin to arrange their mountain of suitcases and think that they are alone: that is until their annoying assistant Lily springs out a trunk! Lily longs to be part of the team; tries to join in but to no avail. Lily vies for attention as the duo set about acts of funambulism; unicycling; juggling and acrobatics; and eventually her perseverance wins the day. The duo becomes a trioï¿½ genuinely imperfect!
Circus Wonder (Netherlands) The Man Who Can Breathe Through His Eyes
Enter the world of the genuine Victorian freakshow and meet the man who CAN breathe through his eyes – just donï¿½t try this at home.
Claire Ducreux (Spain/Catalonia) De Paseo (outdoor)
DE PASEO is the meeting between a bench which does not keep still and a dancer who would like to sit down. Balance, intensity, emotion, almost dance, almost humour.
Colette Gilmartin (outdoor)
Colette is a Manchester-based artist who works in imaginative ways with textiles. She will design and make a set of ‘bugs and ladybirds’ in the form of removable ‘skins’ for children’s space hopper bouncing toys. They will be played on by small children throughout the weekend and given to a local playgroup afterwards
Danza Rota (UK/Spain – Catalonia) Barred
Barred presents us with the lives of two bar workers played out in front of their customers. Set to live bass guitar and the nostalgic music of Frank Sinatra they give an ironic and humorous performance of the lives of the two bar workers: one of them in her loneliness does a passionate duet with a lemon and the other dies of laughter from a broken heart. They end up drowning their sorrows (literally). It is an eccentric and entertaining performance where the audience is left on a high.
Dark Horse The Bigheads (outdoor)
The Bigheads are coming! Enormous, latex heads with hyper-extending tongues, disappearing legs and emerging arms, telepathically linked for instant interactive hilarity. You canï¿½t lick ï¿½em (but they can lick you).
Dave SouthallVertically Challenged (outdoor)
From the great age of Victorian adventure sprang the Alpine Club, an intrepid group of mountaineers dedicated to conquering the great ranges of the world. One peak remains unconquered …… one mountaineer, before your very eyes, attempts it (complete with mountain)!
Department of Correction (outdoor)
ï¿½Helicopter Landing Officerï¿½ – If you want a helicopter landing, or at least a crowd to swear that’s what’s happening, Officer Randy Stenchz is your man! No siteï¿½s too difficult, no venue too inappropriate to prevent Randy, ï¿½doing his jobï¿½. ï¿½Radio Control Manï¿½ – He’s in control of anything that moves. Pigeons; plastic bags; clouds; drunks: all have been at the wrong end of John’s manipulations. ï¿½Frank the Litter Pickerï¿½ – At first glance, unsavoury Frank is simply picking rubbish until you realise that’s the one thing he never does.
Dot Comedy The Dig (outdoor)
The Time Team have arrived: Are they digging a massive hole for themselves? Will they find evidence of prehistoric activity? Or just end up to their necks in it? Only time will tell!
Durgesh Srivastava (outdoor)
Durgesh’s prolific output of installation, graphic prints, etchings and large format paintings explores metaphysical notions of time, memory and the Universal, through the lens of her own experiences of love/happiness, loss/suffering and immigration. Her powerful and highly personal art works act as an inspiration and challenge to herself and her audience.
Dynamic New Animation (D.N.A.) The Skin Deep Circus Sideshow (outdoor)
A small-scale freak show circus – amusing and disturbing in turn – which raises questions about oppression disguised as compassion. Handy Tips – is an elegant booth, splendid in its Victoriana, hosts Monsieur Main as he prepares for the day ahead in his bachelor garret.
Elephant Talk (music)
Drawing influences from all over the globe, Elephant Talk weave a line between world and trance, funk and house creating unforgettable music for the head, heart and dance floor.
Fair Play (outdoor)
Sheik and Vic’s carpet Kasbah takes to the road. You’ll find out how carpet can reduce crime, why bare boards can lead to baldness and what Tom Selleck has been doing for the last ten years. And then there’s the genuine Flying Carpetï¿½
Fairly Famous Company ’Below the Behind’ (outdoor)
The antidote to cheesy T.V, street magicians – David Paine defies the laws of nature (and the trade description act) with his astounding magic tricks including his grand finale “Below the behind”
Fairly Famous Company ’Lifeguards’ (outdoor)
Perched high on their chairs, the lifeguards impose the timeless values of the municipal baths. No petting will be left unchallenged, no running tolerated and horseplay is right out !
The Flying Buttresses (outdoor)
Hodman Dodmanott and Sally Forth, an enchanting, interactive puppetry walkabout featuring an elderly couple of miniature proportions, with huge personalities and a not-so-firm grip on the ways of modern living. Having lived by themselves for hundreds of years, blissfully unaware of the changing world around them, this pint-sized pair have ventured out in search of fame, fortune and friendship, touring the world with their possessions strapped to their backs.
Gandini Jugglng K-DNK (outdoor)
This company has grown from a small avant-garde ensemble to the worldï¿½s leading choreographed juggling group. The K-DNK Glass Cube is one of a kind. It is a four sided bullet proof glass box which allows jugglers to create complex mind-boggling ball bouncing patterns.
Gowri Savoor Winds of Change (visual)
Winds of Change is a site-specific installation piece, constructed from dozens of multiple layers of translucent fabrics, each containing an anonymous secret hope or wish. ‘Secrets’ will create a peaceful and intimate space for collecting ones thoughts with each secret wing floating its message freely in the wind.
Using traditional and modern instruments, Hohodza are an original African music and dance group that takes their inspiration from the ancient and contemporary music of Zimbabwe.
Horace X (music)
Fluorescent danceband, who play a rampant mix of Irish and Indian fiddles, jazzy sax, ragga ranting, samples and drumming, propelled at a breakneckspeed.
Icarus (Australia) Roo’d (outdoor)
Giant Bouncing Kangaroos on powerskip stilts. Jumping up to a metre off the ground and 2 metres in a bound, they are a phenomenal sight. Their characters are a crossover of outback macho and inner city punk savvy always Roo’d but never offensive.
Irene Nolan (outdoor)
Irene Nolan creates images of landscapes and gardens on painted & stitched pieces of calico. Her work will be hung from trees, and new pieces will be created during the showcase.
IOU TATTOO (outdoor / night time)
In a mechanical wild life arena, nocturnal creatures are coming to life A fuming army of petrol driven insects are in erratic pursuit of a monstrous mechanical egg factory. Venting gooey foam along the way, this towering structure ambles through the audience attempting to keep its precious crop from the clutches of the marauding swarm.
Tattoo uses a cast of dancers and mechanics with giant mechanical structures, elaborate costumes and specially composed music to create a captivating and exhilarating show.
Rub shoulders with the impudent pests in this free outdoor event. Wear warm waterproof clothing whatever the weather! Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Not recommended for under 9s.
ImMortal Coming Out Alive (circus)
The award winning troupe, NoFit State Circus return with the premier of their brand new production ï¿½ImMortalï¿½. With an International reputation for innovative, exciting and highly accessible circus, this will be the highlight of this yearï¿½s circus and theatre calendar, donï¿½t miss it!!
Immortal is a journey into what it means to be human. Immortal is a unique, timeless experience where the spectator enters the performance world and doesnï¿½t simply watch it. It’s an event, a multimedia promenade where action explodes all around you, above and below. It is a total show, where music keeps the time and theatre has no numbered seats to map out the forbidden space.
Immortal is daring, ambitious, anarchic, surreal, magical, breath-taking, thought-provoking and funny. Excessive and irreverent, Immortal is a spectacular meditation on one of the biggest questions of the human race: are we immortal?
Larkinï¿½ About Caw! (outdoor)
A unique blend of puppetry and stilts featuring an eight foot giant scarecrow with a very cheeky talking crow for a companion.
Leandre (Spain/Catalonia) Play (outdoor)
Leandre returns with a brand new street show. 30 minutes of inspired lunacy and subtle clowning with live music from a deadpan (and disapproving) David Moreno on piano.
Les Fleurs du Mal (outdoor)
Two lovely wenches dressed in flowing astroturf dresses, covered in faux real flowers. The allegory of a summerï¿½s day! With their sweet voices and fresh faces they seem to have skipped straight off the set of Sound of Music. Traditional German songs about busy shepherdesses, clear blue mornings, babbling brooks and love-sick violets.
Les Zanimos (France) Le Marfand de Fables (outdoor)
Long awaited new show from a highly talented young puppet company. This time we are entertained by the creatures living in a musty old bookshop, who entertain us and each other performing stories from some of the books. A wonderful use of puppets made from waste materials, each with their own strong personality. Performed in English.
Liam Curtin Weï¿½re all at sea in a paper boat (outdoor)
Artist Liam Curtin will be creating a boat, from CDï¿½s, in the shape of a traditional origami boat. The vesselï¿½s symetry and geometric shape will be complemented by its shimmering reflection. In sunlight it will create a thousand rainbows; on cloudy days it will be a silver phantom blending into the water.
Little Bigtop Seeds, Slugs and Sunflowers (outdoor)
Quirky outdoor theatre using clowning and suitcase puppetry aimed particularly at under 5ï¿½s, and their families. A gardener opens the lid of her wheelbarrow to reveal a world where seeds grow into the most extraordinary plants and battle with slugs and other mischievous garden pests for survival.
Luci Gorelle Barnes Bookshed (outdoor)
From the outside, Bookshed is an unremarkable 8′ by 6′ wooden shed. On the inside however, is a tiny and immaculate room with a timeless atmosphere. It houses a collection of handmade artist’s books. These books contain tales which are bound together through their themes of desire and compulsion. Welcoming the audience is the keeper of the books. She invites people to chose a book and sit and read for a while. Bookshed offers an intimate and eccentric experience.
Mahoney Brothers Pony Mahoney (outdoor)
Stop The Pressï¿½ hold the reinsï¿½ Whoa There! A Pantomime horse has broken free from the theatre and is making a dash through the streets on and off a tandem. Before long the stunning dance routines, audience baiting and acrobatic stunts degenerate into chaos when the two halves can’t agree. Hysterical; manic and inspired!
Metroï¿½Boulot-Dodo present FIB – an interactive performance
14 boxes; 8′ high x 8′ deep x 4′ wide. They are painted white on the outside. You and the other 13 audience members will enter each box, one at a time and interact with what you find inside; the “truth booths” contain confessions, sounds and souvenirs from MBD’s experimental, mendacious month. The interiors are totally unique each promising a fascinating 3 minute interactive experience. The boxes are packed with far-fetched fabrications and unflinching honesty. Experience your own private cinema screening, and soak up the wisdom of the world’s most truthful toilet. Each visitor helps the performance grow with the lies of the nation.
To make FIB, the members of MBD spent 14 days only telling the truth and 14 days only lying. 28 days of deception. They give wrong directions and honest opinions. They risked losing friends, jobs and dignity.
“One of the brightest new crop of theatre companies disregarding theatrical convention” Lyn Gardener, The Guardian
Metro Doodle Cow (installation)
The birth of our cow (Sat 05 June’04) will be created live at Garden of Delights using acrylics, POSCAs and spraypaint, through an international collaboration of leading visual street based artists Freaklub (direct from Barcelona),Wet Shame (Bristol) and to be directed by Barney Doodlebug. Metro Doodle is a neat combination of Metro as a ubiquitous urban brand which supports visual artists and Doodlebug’s vision of developing the creative diversity of Manchester’s vibrant landscape internationally.
Mischief La-Bas The Carnival of Curiosities (outdoor)
Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Up! Theodore Fenwicke invites you to find out your fate from ï¿½The Fortune Telling Headï¿½: be very afraid as you enter the presence of ï¿½The Man Eating Chickenï¿½: shake in your boots at ï¿½The Wildman of Kelvindaleï¿½ Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Up!
Mr Mike and Mr Maynard ’Lost’ (outdoor)
Mr Mike and Mr Maynard are LOST, masters of the misplaced – lost buttons, lost dogs, lost voices, lost hearts. even their mission is…….missing. ‘LOST’ is packed with visual trickery, superb fooling, delicious live song silly stories, two hedgehogs dating, a dog auction and a six foot bunny singing Elvis.
Mixed Muscle Fevvers (outdoor)
Sheï¿½s disgusting, she’s delicious; she’s delightful and if you’re lucky she will reveal why she is the most unique woman on earth. ï¿½Fevversï¿½: Bird or beast ï¿½ you decide? Mixed Muscleï¿½s magical, gorgeous and grotesque new character explores the complex and often exploitative relationship between performer and audience. This fantastic and exotic ï¿½takeï¿½ on a 21st century freak show is open to all ages, but watch your fingersï¿½ she may bite!
Madagascan guitarist Modesteï¿½s beautiful songwriting and intricate guitar playing have earned him a devoted following since coming to the UK in 1996. Hard to emulate and almost impossible to define, Modesteï¿½s stunning guitar work cuts between the streams of jazz and classical and yet retains the purity of Madagascarï¿½s roots. Modesteï¿½s serene voice and hypnotic melodies combine beautifully with infectious percussion to create a unique and gorgeously textured music!
Monkey Business ”The Amazonian Wild Monkey” (outdoor)
A performance for one person at a time which invites the viewer to engage with a comic character created through optical illusion.
Nakupelle ï¿½The Trapï¿½ (outdoor)
A janitor, a high ladder, a dying sunflower, suspenseful acrobatics and sublime slapstick. A man tries to get a dying sunflower closer to the sun, but the ladder has other ideas. The Trap features Joe Dieffenbacher, former circus artist and elephant jumper and one half of company, Nakupelle. Nakupelle / Baggies – Deep down in the folds of fabric something stirs and suddenly they appear – two mysterious and curious characters who engage the audience with their goofy vulnerability and mischievous play. Part mask performance, part puppet show, Baggies combines beautiful masks with ingenious use of movement and costume.
PaBoom Fireworks (outdoor)
PaBoom are a group of pyrotechnics, sculptors and designers who explore the artistic use of fireworks and fire technology. Over the last 15 years pa-BOOM has established themselves are one of the countries leading and innovative companies using fireworks and fire to expand the pyrotechnic arts. They company works in a variety of ways, from specifically commissioned works for festivals, individuals and corporate clients to large scale animated sculptures and the creation of unique spectacles for celebratory occasions.
Parka Theatre Accordion Karaoke (outdoor)
Cockney music hall accordionist Buster Keys and authentic Geisha Yuka Layley invite audiences to sing their favourite Karaoke songs, live, in public, on the spot.
Pipedream Productions If Worries Were Fish (outdoor)
ï¿½If Worries Were Fishesï¿½ deals with issues of nightmares and fears from a child’s point of view. Set in a Japanese fishing village, Pipedream Productions use puppets and masks to unfold their story of ecological disaster.
The Primitives (Belgium/Canada/UK) Swan Lake (outdoor)
/ An epic tale of ï¿½ Conflictï¿½.. rebellion ï¿½. loveï¿½ï¿½and death ï¿½. bought to you by two overweight, overaged men. Dressed in plastic tutus and charged with pure emotion, they “dance” and act out the classic story of Prince Sigfried, his dominating mother and the enchanting Swan Maiden.
Raise the Roof (visual installation)
Bradford based Raise the Roofï¿½s large processional structures have featured all over the UK in festivals and Carnivals ï¿½ look out for the spectacular Pegasus.
Rex Boyd (outdoor)
Rudolf Nakabalakov is the internationally famous Russian ballet dancer with a fabulous lunch box. Heï¿½s suave, graceful, elegant and will be partnered by the incredibly beautiful ballerina from England, Miss Darcey Brustle. Rudolf and Darcey bring the sophisticated, glamorous world of the ballet to the streets and conclude with a rousing, truly explosive dance to the Russian masterpiece of Tchaikovskyï¿½s 1812 Overture.
The happiest, best-dressed band in Europe. This fully acoustic quartet is packing all original tunes, extraordinary suits and loads of fun – bringing Beats, Brass & Vocals with minimal techs and specs. SALT is a crowd pleaser, determined to establish contact with the audience and not giving up until they turned clouds into clear blue skies. A carnival fusion of original jazz, European, Latin and other world melodies delivered with joy on your doorstep.
Samsalamat is a new collaboration between Manchester favourites Sambangra and Bakhshi Javaid Salamat and his group BJS Qawwali. SAMSALAMAT features Qawwali, Indian Classical and other Asian styles blended with Sambangra’s Afro-Brazilian/Asian percussion-based dance grooves. Sambangra and BJS produce a mix of music with many roots, but one soul. Performing separately and together, they will draw you into the magic of their music and transport you towards an incredible Sufi-Hip-Hop crescendo!
Shirley Jones (visual)
ï¿½Terracotta Dreamsï¿½, offers hands-on participatory opportunities for everyone to make their own self-portrait as a clay figure. Over a few hours, hundreds of uniquely different creations start to form a festival’s own ‘terracotta army’.
The Sneakers (outdoor)
An explosive combination of music and pure comedy. Wild and wicked renditions of all time favourite classics from ï¿½Bootsï¿½ and ï¿½Summertime Bluesï¿½ to ï¿½Blue Moon of Kentuckyï¿½, with full scale audience participation. This three piece band have toddlers dancing to ï¿½Wild Thingï¿½ whilst teenagers link arms and join in to the chorus of ï¿½Delilahï¿½.
The Space Cadets (visual)
The Space Cadets create large and small scale inflatable objects that are both delicate and beautiful. They will be creating a 30ft inflatable, inflatable giant gateway into the Garden of Delights, and an ‘electric garlic avenue’ – an illuminated pathway of giant garlic bulbs.
Speakeasy Productions The Radio Show (outdoor)
Journey back to those halcyon days of wireless radio and join Roger and Gloria as they present Itï¿½s That Time Again live in front of an invited audience. This edition features the toe tapping trio ï¿½The Cream Threesï¿½ and further adventures of those famous super sleuths – Charlie Foxtrot and his dog Joey.
Stickleback Plasticus St Joans Ambulance Brigade (outdoor)
Officers of the brigade of st Joans. Eager to serve and accident prone, you’ll be safe with St Joans. Keeping the streets safe for all who wander this careful duo of fumbling first aiders come brandishing bandages and are ready to help (and hinder) in any situation.
Swank Joyous Jamboree (outdoor)
Two become four as Val and Babs are joined by “Wendy Willing” and “Mable Able”. Joyous Jamboree is a fully interactive Swank Camp installation,complete with bivouacs, flagpoles and of course the camp fire for good old sing songs. Join the pack in their natural habitat, learn skills you never knew you needed – play silly games and win an exciting range of new badges. Swank / Lets Get Physical – After extensive research in their Lavatoire Cherrie and Suzette are proud to introduce “Lets Get Physical” an aerodynamically challenged work out. Be firm with flab – get sweaty with these two mistresses of mirth.Have yourself a swanky make over – because youï¿½re worth it.
Turul Aymen Dinamo (outdoor)
A unique opportunity to experience an improvised, interactive installation in which bikes powered by the audience control the performance they are watching. In association with Activ8-Octagon Theatre Bolton and Bolton MBC.
Urban Voices (music)
Ever-popular local choir that sing stirring acapella songs from many different traditions and cultures.
Walk The Plank (outdoor)
As well as touring large and small scale shows including S.W.A.L.K, Supernova, The Tower of Light, The Garden of Luminescent Loveliness, Walk The Plank also make shows for particular events or locations…often on or around water: docks, rivers, harbours or lakes. At the Garden of Delights they will be presenting WATER WHEEL (kinetic sculpture): originally commissioned by British Waterways and designed and constructed by Kevin Carroll. Also, on Sunday 6th June, Walk the Plankï¿½s producer Liz Pugh will be giving a presentation on their touring show S.W.A.L.K in the festival centre marquee.
Whalley Range All Stars Bedcases (outdoor)
‘Bedcases’ is a totally relaxing yet action-packed experience: 5 members of the public are invited to climb into an extraordinary, oversized four-poster bed. As they lie there safely tucked in under a super deluxe-sized duvet they are told a 3-D bed-time story with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.