Tightrope walker steps out

World-renowned tightrope walker Didier Pasquette is set to finally make his Norfolk debut at Yarmouth's second Out There Festival in September.

World-renowned tightrope walker Didier Pasquette is set to finally make his Norfolk debut at Yarmouth's second Out There Festival in September.

The Frenchman, whose previous performances have included walks across the River Thames and Park de Princes stadium in Paris, was billed as the star of last year's first festival, but his walk across the Market Place had to be called off due to high winds.

Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of the resort's SeaChange Arts charity, which is organising this year's festival with a budget of up to �130,000, said: 'Didier really wants to come back. While the Market Place is still open, we think it would be great to do something on the seafront.

'Peter Jay and I are looking at the skyline this week and we are exploring the possibility of a 300m walk from the top of the Hippodrome Circus to the Atlantis Arena building.'

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Mr Mackintosh said they wanted to give this year's street arts festival a strong outdoor focus and that was why it had been brought forward from the end of October to the weekend of September 19 and 20.

He said: 'This time we will be putting up the tented village in the town's revamped St George's Park, rather than the Market Place, because it provides an ideal outdoor space for workshops and performance areas.

'We are also planning to use Regent Road and the Market Place for a variety of walk about street acts.'

Mr Mackintosh said they had already opened negotiations with a variety of continental acts, including Ish, a Dutch ensemble which he described as a 'cross-over between sport and performance arts', and Aura, a contemporary dance group from Lithuania.

The festival would also have a street circus theme, building on the roots of the Hippodrome Circus, and they were hoping to secure a leading French group, Les Studios Cirque de Marseilles, which performs a wheel of death act.

Mr Mackintosh said: 'On the Saturday, we are planning a major community event which will include artists and musicians from the festival alongside groups of local people, including school children.

'It will involve processions starting at different points in the town, converging on St George's Park for a spectacular show.'

Mr Mackintosh is awaiting a decision in late June on SeaChange's bid for 590,000 euros of EU funding, which would allow not only a bigger festival but events throughout the year as well.

He said: 'We want to build up Yarmouth's reputation for street arts and circus events, putting on events involving artists working with the local community across the summer season, including the Maritime Festival.'

He said an events partnership was being formed, involving SeaChange, the borough council's tourism department and town centre partnership, to bolster Yarmouth's entertainments programme.

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