10 April 2018

HIGH-wire walkers will traverse the Wear as part of a cultural programme set to thrill visitors to The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

The programme will feature a wide variety of art forms that will entertain visitors to the city during the visit of the Tall Ships, between Wednesday, July 11 and Saturday, July 14.

Actors, musicians and dancers from across the UK and beyond will entertain people in event zones across the city in a programme funded by National Lottery through Arts Council England. Local artists will also be given a platform to perform.

Sunderland City Council’s Head of Events, Victoria French said: "The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 gives the city an unmissable opportunity to host a wide variety of open-air performances to complement the magnificent vessels we will be welcoming to Sunderland.

“Thanks to support from Arts Council England we are able to present some fantastic national and international performances. Featuring music, dance and circus artists and culminating in an epic, large scale performance from Cirque Bijou on Friday night."

Cirque Bijou, renowned for their spectacular and inspirational shows, will be delivering a dazzling performance as part of the festivities on Friday, July 13, when they will walk across the Wear.

Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, Billy Alwen, said: "The show we are making for The Tall Ships Races Sunderland will be one of the highlights of our year. We are bringing some of the finest wire walkers in Europe together with a local ensemble of singers and dancers to produce a unique show telling stories of Sunderland’s connection to the sea. It will be on a scale rarely seen in this country."

Local artists Emma Bloomfield, Sophie Lisa Beresford, Penella Bee and Thomas Potts will perform throughout the event as part of the ‘Wearside Emerging’ project.

Programme Producer for The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018, Helen Green, also said "We are delighted that, as part of the wider Tall Ships Cultural Programme, we are able to offer opportunities to local artists to take part in the festival. We have offered commissions to four Sunderland artists who will pop up in areas around the event zones. They range from breath taking trapeze performance to street dance, music to strolling theatre - and expect a surprise here and there."

Further details of the exciting programme which also includes international performers as well as many from throughout the UK will be released nearer to the event.

To keep up to date with the latest news from The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 go to follow on Twitter @TallShipsSund or Facebook at: Tall Ships Races Sunderland