15/04/2004

Street theatre festival prelude held outside Belfast City Hall

A man was today seen suspended 30 feet above the ground outside Belfast City Hall.

However, this wasn't a state hanging but the beginning of a five-day festival celebrating street theatre from across the world.

Street theatre performer, Ken Fanning escaped from a straitjacket while suspended high above the pavement outside the City Hall as part of a prelude to the 'Festival of Fools' celebrations which runs from April 29 to May 3

The Festival will bring top street performers together from Africa, USA, France, Sardinia, Denmark and the UK to provide a feast of spectacular comedy for all ages.

Commenting on the forthcoming festival, Will Chamberlain, Festival of Fools’ Director, said: “For the past thirty years, cities around Europe have hosted Fools' Festivals. Belfast is now ready to draw on centuries of tradition which have seen strolling players and troubadours entertaining kings and commoners wherever they travelled.

"Our Festival of Fools brings together street performers, clowns and artists to help shoppers, office workers and visitors celebrate the follies and foibles of modern day life."

With more than 80 shows in five days, the Festival of Fools is expected to attract huge crowds over the busy May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

The Festival of Fools is the result of a partnership between Belfast Community Circus, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Events Company, Laganside Corporation and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and EU Culture 2000.

(MB)

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