When: 20th – 29th July 2018
Where: Milton Keynes
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
This month, there’ll be giant insects stalking the city streets, a chance to have an immersive night-time adventure in the woods, and a circus hub popping up in a shopping centre.
From Friday 20th to Sunday 29th July, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival will transform the spaces of Milton Keynes and invite people to see a different side of the city. The festival will offer ten days of new outdoor theatre, large and small-scale performance, circus, stand-up comedy, live music, talks, family activities and free events.
For 2018, festival director Monica Ferguson and creative director Bill Gee have put together a programme of performance exploring migration, identity, and community and home.
This year’s festival highlights will include Sarruga’s Insectes, which will light up the streets on Friday 20th July. Giant cycle-powered steam-breathing ants, spiders and praying mantises, driven by a stirring soundtrack, will promenade through the city centre streets towards a firework finale in Campbell Park.
Other highlights will include an installation of large-scale illuminated dresses by Belgian company Theater Tol. Life of Tree will honour women who have made a significant contribution to history including Simone de Beauvoir and Florence Nightingale. And immersive night-time adventure, For the Birds, will offer a self-guided journey along a trail of installations – performances, sound, projections and kinetic sculptures – celebrating birds in song, movement and flight.
There will also be Bicycle Bell-ero, a new music performance by Milton Keynes-based composer Craig McLeish, which will see dozens of cyclists play on specially-tuned cycle bells created from re-purposed handbells.
For Phobiarama the audience will sit in fairground cars. Dutch theatre maker and visual artist Dries Verhoeven will invite audiences on board a political ghost train, for an immersive excursion through our angst-fuelling media landscape, so flawlessly exploited by politicians, terrorists, marketers and the spinners of fake news.
Belgian company Sur Mesure will bring together musicians, instrument manufacturers, woodworkers and circus artists in Fillage. Expect a combination of trampolining, acrobatics, juggling and specially composed live music.
For families there will be an ingenious carousel of extraordinary cows, cleverly crafted from wood, scrap and leather. Children (aged two to six years) will get to climb onto the carousel, but it will only go round if the grown-ups milk the mechanical cow that provides the power. There will also be enchanting tales with puppets, interactive book adaptations, comedy for kids and a baby disco.
More info: www.ifmiltonkeynes.org