Hat Fair welcomes back familiar faces

Hat Fair welcomes back familiar faces

Photo credit: Adrienne Photography

Hat Fair, the UK’s longest running festival of Outdoor Arts, is back for another summer – this year from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July – and to celebrate the festival’s 50th birthday, the programme features a host of familiar faces, ready to bring more outrageous street theatre, circus, comedy and magic to Winchester city centre.

Hat Fair began as a hatting event and is so called after the tradition of a ‘hatter’ or performer holding out a hat following their performance to collect donations from the audience. Each year the festival brings together a selection of the finest hatters and this year is no different – with entertainment that all ages will enjoy.

Fans of the festival will be especially delighted to learn that Streetcomedy is back – with the double act, Richard Garaghty and Goronwy Thom, set to perform more of their multi award-winning street theatre, circus trickery, improv and comedy routines. Darryl J Carrington also returns with Out of the Box – a family friendly comedy show featuring world-class juggling; plus, internationally award-winning funny man, Fraser Hooper, presents Funny Business – featuring a stunt duck, a human fish and the silliest of boxing matches. Imre Bernath returns too, with interactive visual comedy and surprising acrobatics.

The hatter line-up also includes magician, Billy Kidd – with an unforgettable comedy escape routine; The Great Dave whose audience suggests different ways in which he should juggle for them; and Kiki and Pascal with a rom-com stand up featuring singing, contortion and a surprise magical ending. Plus, Kiki Bittovabitsch performs cheeky stand up; and Matt Pang’s Loaded features DIY catapults and a daredevil game with a wet finish.

There are other performances scheduled too including from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre from Hat Fair 2022, who headline again this year – this time with a bingo-themed aerial circus spectacular called House! Autin Dance Theatre – whose 13-foot sea puppet Eko captivated audiences two summers ago – are also back, this time with Parade – The Giant Wheel – a moving performance featuring a 12-foot tall wheel and inspired by the impact of people working together. Plus, Gobbledegook Theatre – who last summer asked festival goers for their pop confessionals – will host Cloudscapes – combining peaceful, communal cloud gazing with storytelling.

There will also be walkabout performances from Tit for Tat Circus whose A Knight Away tells the story of Sir Kuss who takes a well-earned holiday with his heavily burdened squire; and Isaac Hooper’s interactive show, blip, features revolutionary audio technology, which records the audience, which he remixes into psychedelic soundscapes.

Finally, Saturday night’s festivities are wrapped up with the help of DJ Shanazzle who returns to the decks to get Hat Fair’s birthday party started in style.

With generous thanks to Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grant, Without Walls and Culture Ireland.

For more information visit www.hatfair.co.uk

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