9 & 10 September 2022

Italian Gardens


Whirligig Illustration by award-winning anajaks.co.uk


WELCOME TO WHIRLIGIG FESTIVAL, where international and local performers come together to bring you jaw dropping outdoor arts experiences in the heart of Weston-super-Mare.

Kicking off on Friday evening with a monster sized treat in the shape of Saurus (not for the faint hearted!), and a stompingly great Saturday of spectacles galore.

*Winner of Best UK Small Event, National Outdoor Events Association Awards, 2019*

Friday 9 September – early evening (exact timings stomping your way very soon!)


Close Act Theatre – Saurus

Close Act Theatre, Saurus – Image by Marika Miniati

There is definitely something Jurassic in the air at the moment. Presumed to be extinct, the biggest beasts that ever walked the earth return to 21st Century Weston. Expect giant size drama as these beasts walk the streets looking for food … but don’t worry they are vegetarians!

We’ll be meeting at the Tropicana for a community parade along the seafront with Saurus and heading to the Italian Gardens for a special Champagne Super Rolla and a Rickshaw Disco.

Saturday 10 September – 11am to 6pm


Alleyne Dance – BONDED

Alleyne Dance – Bonded. Image by Lidia Crisafulli

BONDED explores the construct of human dependency – especially that of siblings – and how time and external conditions can affect the synergetic connection. The work takes the audience through a transitional journey of inter-and-independency through abstract dance narrative.

Alleyne Dance (AD) is a UK based company with an international reach, founded in 2014 by award winning dancers and twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne.

The choreographic aesthetic reflects the sisters diverse background in athleticism and dance training. Within their abstract contemporary construct, Alleyne Dance blend West African, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Kathak and Circus Skills, delivered as fast paced and dynamic movement. They infuse lyrical and fluid motion, layered with rhythm and textures in physically powerful, yet graceful performances.

Alleyne Dance strives for high quality and excellence as the Company delivers its three main objectives: performance, participation and development.

Funders: Supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Salisbury International Arts Festival, part of Wiltshire Creative

Avanti Display – SPURTING MAN

‘One of the classic street theatre shows of the last twenty years.’

A silent performance show featuring 200 litres of water in 3 minutes, performed to Ravel’s Bolero!

The show dissects the unequal relationship between the famous specialty performer, ‘The Spurting Man’, and his downtrodden assistant, leading to a series of hilarious comic interactions and displays of squirting water. Finally crowned and, on top of his pedestal, the grand finale takes place and ‘The Spurting Man’ cascades fountains of water from his body. Since this classic European street theatre show was first created in 1995, Avanti Display have presented ‘The Spurting Man’ on four continents and in nineteen different countries and can now add Weston to the list!

Close-Act – SAURUS

The dinosaurs are coming to town in a prehistoric spectacle guaranteed to make modern jaws drop! SAURUS is a unique, large-scale street theatre experience featuring giant beasts from prehistoric times. Presumed to be extinct, these majestic creatures are returning to 21st century Weston-super-Mare to wow Whirligig festival-goers. Crowds can expect to be taken back in time and enthralled by the spectacle and scale of these extraordinary, moving inventions, accompanied by their very own keeper and flaming flares.


“Never laughed so much, my jaws are still aching!” Audience member

The Giant Balloon Show will have the audience in stitches and in awe simultaneously, with its hilarious one-man show pushing balloons to their extreme. Expect feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and, of course, the all-important giant balloon as the ever popular Dizzy O’Dare returns to Weston! Take everything you know about balloons, add an award-winning entertainer and an 80s soundtrack, and twist that into a highly entertaining show for the whole family.
Winner of The International Festival of Fools (2017)

Highly Sprung, Urban Astronaut – image by Rajvi Vaya


“Beautiful, moving piece by far my standout favourite of the whole festival!” Audience member

The future. Earth is uninhabitable, destroyed by environmental pollution. But could this devastation be prevented? Suspended on a gravity defying flying machine, the Urban Astronaut travels through towns and cities to provide a glimpse of a not-so dystopian future. On his journey he meets a girl who provides the one thing the Astronaut has lost…hope. Combining genre-defying aerial theatre with dynamic choreography and stunning design to tell a compelling story.

Now in it’s 8th year touring, the renowned Highly Sprung’s Urban Astronaut exposes problems around air pollution, now at a crisis point. Once again bringing audiences a global issue and inspiring them to make a change.


“This is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done in my life!” London Games Festival

Welcome to The Actual Reality Arcade, a life-sized interactive game zone for all ages inspired by classic arcade games where YOU bring the games to life. Featuring hands-on, playable models of favourite retro games players can pilot spaceships, build giant Tetris walls, shoot alien invaders, Whac-a-Mole, become Pac-Man and much more as the Actual Reality Arcade brings its biggest ever range of games to the Italian Gardens.

Commissioned by Without Walls, Hat Fair, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

Captive, Motionhouse – image by Andy Grey

Motionhouse – CAPTIVE

Four dancers perform this exciting blend of dance, acrobatics and aerial work inside a large cage. Disorientated and shaken, the performers use their skill and instinct to survive in this emotionally charged and athletic piece. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem The Panther, this extraordinary outdoor show explores notions of captivity. Extremely physical, Captive is a thrilling blend of dance and acrobatics with a dynamic narrative exploring human relationships in captivity. The company returns to Weston by popular demand, following last year’s stunning performance of ‘Wild’, which captivated Whirligig audiences.

Captive is supported by Without Walls, Birmingham Hippodrome, Swindon Dance, Bristol City Council and Arts Council England.
Motionhouse is supported by Arts Council England


“The funniest and silliest thing I’ve ever seen – pure joy.” Stagetalk Magazine

Award-winning Elvis impersonator Joe Reeve stars in his own version of the classic Elvis film “Blue Hawaii”. Assisted by over-enthusiastic Tour Manager Josephine Cunningham, this is a musical comedy which will leave you all shook up!

Highly visual with lots of audience interaction, plus all your favourite Elvis numbers, this a show which all the family can enjoy.

From Spitz & Co – the creators of “Gloriator”, “Gloria In the Mist’, and “Les Gloriables”. Devised and performed by Joe Reeve and Susie Donkin. Directed by Greg Banks and Angus Barr.

Working Boys Club – SERVING SOUND

Serving Sound is a multi-sensory sound installation that creates connection through music – a bar that serves bass rather than beer. The installation is an interactive work, playful and joyful, with each ‘customer’ experience at the bar lasting up to the length of a song. The Serving Sound Bar encourages conversations around wellbeing, in particular male mental health, giving working class men a voice in a pub-style setting with a difference.

There’s nothing like your local, there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like a pint at your local. There’s nothing like hanging out in the beer garden at your local. There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like the footie, a fag and a pint at your local….The “I’m just going to have one”, the “just one more”. The ‘DING DING’ “LAST ORDERS?” See you next week I’m sure. There’s nothing like your local. There’s nothing like it.


House Of Funny Noises and Into University! – WHERE DID THE BATS GO?

The House of Funny Noises, a Bristol-based film collective that makes short, experimental films, has been working with students from IntoUniversity to bring back animals from the verge of extinction through the surreal magic of puppetry. The resulting short animation film will have its first public screening, as part of a solar powered micro cinema installation at ‘Whirligig’.

Supported by Without Walls


An immersive audio experience co-created with multi-generational community groups by acclaimed sound artist Joseff Harris, that gathers the eclectic voices of Weston-super-Mare and explores our ever-volatile weather cycles.

Being launched at Whirligig, it explores how the natural environment forms our identity and how human impact on the natural world is dramatically changing the landscapes we know and love. It will transport you through vivid memories and nostalgia, but it will also harness the voices of the future and highlight how change must happen now.

Circus skills workshops with Circomedia, The Cake Ladies deliciously decorative stilt walkers, Culture Weston bar serving up locally-sourced beverages, Bo Bom Gelato stand and more…

Make a full weekend of it, by coming along to the Climate Parade and Sustainable Fashion Show at the Italian Gardens on Sunday 11 September. More information HERE

Theatre Orchard is a partner in Without Walls, working with festivals and artists and bringing fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK. Find out more at www.withoutwalls.uk.com


Find out more about visiting Whirligig HERE

Made possible by

Without Walls, Festival, Whirligig, Italian Gardens,