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This Week's City Centre Celebration Looks Superb

Platform 4, free festival of performance, music and family from X-TRAX

Published on August 15th 2011.

This Week's City Centre Celebration Looks Superb

Despite the stupidity of a few clowns last week, what Manchester is famous for is great live entertainment, festivals and outdoor events in and around the city centre. This very weekend, in fact, sees the exciting return of Platform 4, a free festival of outdoor performance, music and family fun, plus a world-class night time spectacle, all presented by Manchester-based X-TRAX.

This disaster movie features an eleven strong cast of dancers and professional climbers and a giant tilting screen, suspended over 60 feet in the air.

The very best companies from Europe, the UK and beyond will be doing all sorts of daring and genuinely amazing things in  Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street and Castlefield Arena for two days and nights. 

Opening with a night time spectacular in and around Castlefield Arena, the Friday evening programme features artists from the UK and Europe, including two flamboyant companies from Spain, the stylish aerial circus Atempo Circ (9pm) and music from off-the-wall marching band Always Drinking (7.15pm; 8.45pm). 

There's dance too from Bad Taste Cru (7.30pm) and Kuljit Bhamra's Chutney On The Street! (8.15pm). As night time descends the evening ends with the breathtaking As The World Tipped, an extraordinary aerial show from North West based Wired Aerial Theatre, which has been captivating audiences around the UK.  

Set against the background of the Copenhagen Conference for Climate Change, this disaster movie brought to life against the night sky features an eleven strong cast of dancers and professional climbers and a giant tilting screen, suspended over 60 feet in the air. (10-11pm).

There's another chance to thrill to this unique show on Saturday night, when Atempo Circ will also be performing again at 9pm with Steel Band Pan Fire at 7.30pm and Always Drinking Marching Band's La Calle es Nuestra at 8.45pm.

Atempo CircAtempo Circ

The daytime programme on Saturday and Sunday brings an array of performances, comedy, music and family fun to outdoor spaces around the city. 

You could hop aboard Dutch company Delinus’ tiny taxi in Piccadilly Gardens, or become Imaginary Friends with Manchester favourites Whalley Range All Stars in New Cathedral Street. Why not join the always amazing Avanti Display for Mr Lucky’s Tea Party in Piccadilly Gardens over the weekend, then help out on Plunge Boom’s allotment, before joining Contact Young Actors for A Game Of Consequence, an old fashioned medicine show complete with magical machines and mythical insights? 

Dance to the summer sounds of Chutney On The Street, as India and the Caribbean gently fuse, in St Ann's Square where you may well marvel at the wonderful skills of Deaf Men Dancing and the aerial antics of Scarabeus.

Don't be afraid of the subversive antics of Red Herring’s evil Punch and Judy puppets in Piccadilly Gardens because That's The Way To Do It! 

And - you know what? - this is the way Manchester does things too, right at the heart of our city. So get yourself along to Platform 4 over the weekend, have some free fun and show the world what we're really all about.

Daytime - Saturday 20 and Sunday 21: Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street from 1pm – 6pm. Evening - Friday 19 and Saturday 20: Castlefield Arena from 7.30 pm. www.xtrax.org.uk/platform4 <http://www.xtrax.org.uk/platform4> 

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CobbydalerAugust 20th 2011.

Saw Chutney On The Street this afternoon, excellent!!

tblzebraAugust 21st 2011.

I've never liked Punch & Judy since childhood (or clowns) - all very sinister. Red Herring's very entertaining non-puppet 'live' version confirmed I was right! Best part was people thinking the police officer was real.

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