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Buskers eager for start of Christchurch festival

15 December, 2011

Buskers eager for start of Christchurch festival

Australian acrobatic troupe ThisSideUp are falling over themselves at the thought of performing at the Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival next month.

“We have heard great things from fellow physical arts and street performers about the festival and we’re really looking forward to being a part of it,’’ says James Brown, who along with Casey Douglas and Christian Schooneveld-Reid have been wowing audiences at theatre festivals throughout Europe for the past four years.

The trio are bringing their highly acclaimed show, The Controlled Falling Project, to the festival and will be performing nightly at The Press Club.

Bursting at the seams visual delight and unconventional vitality The Controlled Falling Project is a thrilling demonstration of high-level acrobatic skills and will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

“It must be seen to be believed,’’ says Brown, who is hoping the show will provide some escapism for quake-hit Christchurch residents.

Also eager to see the festival get underway is Christchurch’s own Sam Wills.

Wills, who has been chosen to perform this month at The Royal Variety Performance alongside the likes of magicians Penn and Teller and crooner Tony Bennett, is going to treat Christchurch audiences to a brand new show, The Boy With Tape on His Face – More Tape.

The show will be on nightly in The Press Club.

"The show is 100% different from last year’s but is still the same style of interactive prop-based comedy,’’ says Wills, who is excited to show Christchurch audiences what he has been up to since his last visit.

He believes Christchurch’s World Buskers Festival is one of the best festivals in the world and is confident the venue change made as a result of the earthquakes won’t change that. Normally the World Buskers Festival takes place around Victoria Square, Cathedral Square and the Arts Centre but because of quake damage the 2012 festival will be centred around North Hagley Park.

Wills is hoping the festival will help Christchurch people recover from the trauma of the past year.

“I think that the festival will help as it becomes a time of laughter and celebration and it is something that Christchurch is known for the world over. People need to laugh and enjoy what the festival is. It was never about where the street shows took place - it's about the people watching,’’ says Wills.

The Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival starts on January 19 and runs until January 29. A 52-page tabloid detailing the larger-than-ever festival programme will be published alongside The Press newspaper on January 4. Information about who’s performing and when is also available online at


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