CASTLEFIELD Arena looked good, a balance of history, canals, viaducts and dancing troupes. Platform 4's series of events in the old area made this special place come to life and entertained, enthralled, and thrilled a crowd of thousands.
The message was anti-climate change and provided gripping (literally) images such as a woman writhing across the screen screaming in agony, with a backdrop of raging fire.
Local steel band Pan Fire kicked things off and did fine work. Although the crowd nearby seemed more excited that the actress who played Mandy Maguire in Shameless is one of the musicians. You can hire them for weddings by the way - maybe not with Mandy in attendence.
Next up were the Always Drinking Marching Band - madcap, manic, musical entertainment, a bit like a New Orleans marching band on speed.
Atempo Circ, from Spain, were a highlight. These folk provided gravity-defying brilliance, sheer, raw talent with no gimmicks. There were three acrobats, accompanied by a musician. The best, most jaw-dropping parts were the male acrobat inside a large hula hoop propelling himself faster and faster, and the bird-sized female acrobat suspended high up on the trapeze, holding on with only one toe.
Finally there was As the World Tipped by Wired Aerial Theatre complete with people manoeuvring wired participants while suspended high in the air on a vertical ‘stage’.
The message was anti-climate change and provided gripping (literally) images such as a woman writhing across a screen screaming in agony, with a backdrop of raging fire. There were laughs as well when the stage tipped a full 90 degrees from the horizontal with everything sliding off.
The atmosphere throughout the whole evening was excellent, the stewarding low-key and the large crowd enthusiastic. Even the only beer tent was efficient with reasonable prices and two orderly fast-moving queues (we love to queue, even when drunk).
Platform 4 worked a treat in Castlefield. It was a perfect evening. Look at the pictures and if you missed out, watch out for time next year when it should make a return.
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