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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 110

Date:- 02 August 2003

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Street Entertainers.
Report and Photographs By L Trollope

SOUTHPORT experienced a feast of festivities over the weekend. Each afternoon the gardens in front of the Arts Centre reverberated with many sounds. This was Southport's part in 'Brouhaha International', bringing international acts to Merseyside. Entertainers from far flung places such as Africa and Latin America must have brought their own weather, because whilst Saturday was bright albeit with a few showers, Sunday was sunny and warm and the crowd who gathered to enjoy the spectacle could relax and 'go with the flow'.

On Saturday we were treated to the zest of Toca Rufar, an exuberant band of youngsters, from Portugal, whose excellent percussion skills got us into the swing of things. In the second slot, whilst dodging the rain showers, they performed their drum waves under the Arts Centre porch (no mean feat for a marching band).

The Columbia Grupo de Danza and the Costa Rican Tierra y Cosecha also thrilled us with their skills and enabled us to share their traditional music.

We were serenaded by melodious Jamaican singers, intrigued by the Acrobats of Silence, and amused by a trio called 'The Sneakers' from Cornwall, who played a variety of good music accompanied by hilarious antics. Many people will remember that very talented 1930's/40's jazz band, "Spike Jones". That fore-mentioned trio "The Sneakers" seemed at first sight to be a mottle ragamuffin group, but they immediately dispelled that by doing to some present day pop tunes what Spike did to music. They turned out to be excellent combination of top rate musicians and clowns.

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Some of us were honoured to meet Lady Christobel, and her long-suffering butler (Bee & Foley), who deigned to speak to us as they passed around the crowd. All around were children masquerading as tigers and other creatures, having had their faces painted by a talented make-up artist, who was on hand to help their fantasies on both days.

Sunday saw a repeat of crowds being enthralled by the various acts from Italy, Morocco, Malta, Holland, Kenya, Uruguay, and also Artemis a group from Merseyside, who 'walked tall' indeed. All were given warm welcomes. They were all outstanding performers, powerful ambassadors for their nations. 

'Sand-grounders' and visitors from miles around were left with much to smile about after this spell of street theatre. Let's hope it is repeated many times in future. 

Similar events from 'Brouhaha International' have been repeated throughout Merseyside. Although most are now over, there are a few still to come. In Liverpool City Centre, this Saturday, 2nd August, a street extravaganza, with top class performances in circus, street and carnival arts, is promised. Also on Saturday 8pm, at the Liverpool Play House, a free show featuring skilled performers from 17 countries (if tickets are still available). Sunday, 3rd August, 12-4pm, brings the Festival Finale at various city sites, your last chance to see some of the fore-mentioned groups and some others. Don't miss it!

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.