9 & 10 September 2023






Both Parades set off from Seafront at 11am
Saturday - from Tropicana
Sunday - from opp. Pierre Bistro

The rest of the day is at:
Italian Gardens, Marine Lake and the High Street

Whirligig Festival of Outdoors Arts 2023

Whirligig illustration by award-winning


Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September

Whirligig is a festival where international and local performers come together to bring you jaw dropping outdoor arts experiences in the heart of Weston-super-Mare.

Our programme is delivered in partnership with Without Walls, a consortium of festivals and arts organisations bringing fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across England.  Find out more at

*Winner of Best UK Small Event, National Outdoor Events Association Awards, 2019*

Supported by


Saturday 9 September

Italian Gardens, BS23 1AB

11:00: Climate Carnival sets off from Tropicana, BS23 1BE
12:00: Climate Carnival arrives at Italian Gardens
Samba &Twist-O-Flex dance performance
12:30: Avanti Display – Spurting Man
13:00: Alleyne Dance – Bonded
13:30: Dizzy O’ Dare – The Giant Balloon Show
14:00: Motionhouse – Captive
14:30: Collectif Malunes – We Agree To Disagree
15:45:Avanti Display – Spurting Man
16:15:Alleyne Dance – Bonded
16:45:Motionhouse – Captive
17:15:Megan Clark-Bagnall – You Shrine Finale
18:00:Event ends

Super Wonder Shrine, BS23 1HA

12:30: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
13:05: Simple Cypher – Roll Play
13:40: Spitz & Co – Elvis in Blue Hawaii
14:15: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
14:50: Simple Cypher – Roll Play
15:25: Dizzy O’ Dare – The Giant Balloon Show
16:00: Spitz & Co – Elvis in Blue Hawaii
16:40: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
17:10: Event ends

Marine Lake, BS21 7TY
10am-4pm Luke Jerram – Crossings – Bookings only. Book here

Sunday 10 September

Italian Gardens, BS23 1AB
11:00: Paraorchestra – Smoosh! Sets off from Sea Front (by Pierre Bistro) to Italian Gardens
12:00: Avanti Display – Spurting Man
12:30: Alleyne Dance – Bonded
13:00: Dizzy O’ Dare – The Giant Balloon Show
13:30: Motionhouse – Captive
14:00: Collectif Malunes – We Agree To Disagree
15:15: Alleyne Dance – Bonded
15:45: Avanti Display – Spurting Man
16:15: Motionhouse – Captive
16:45: Smoosh! – Italian Gardens to Seafront
17:45: Event ends

Super Wonder Shrine, BS23 1HA
12:00: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
12:35: Simple Cypher – Roll Play
13:15: Spitz & Co – Elvis in Blue Hawaii
13:50: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
14:25: Simple Cypher- Roll Play
15:05: Dizzy O’ Dare – The Giant Balloon Show
15:40: Spitz & Co – Elvis in Blue Hawaii
16:15: Jones & Barnard – The Variety Spectacular
16:45: Event ends

Marine Lake, BS21 7TY
10am-4pm Luke Jerram – Crossings – Bookings only. Book here


A WEEKEND OF PARADES – Come and join us!


Saturday 9 September, 11am from Tropicana to Italian Gardens.

Join this climate-themed Carnival that will kick off our festival weekend and creatively shine a light on climate justice, looking at ways that we can positively impact our world. The procession through the town centre will feature a wild array of inspiring community projects, culminating in the Italian Gardens as the rest of Whirligig Festival unfolds.

Image by Paul Blakemore Photography

SMOOSH! with Paraorchestra 

Sunday 10 September – Starting at Marine Parade at 11am and again at Italian Gardens at 4:45pm.

Paraorchestra brings a high-energy wind and brass band and a troupe of dancers to the streets of Weston-super-Mare for an on-the-move performance of kaleidoscopic pop-karaoke classics – think Fatboy Slim meets Kate Bush meets Basement Jaxx.

In SMOOSH!, a core of Paraorchestra musicians, plus an array of local performers including Weston & Wind Worle Band, performing arts students from Weston College and members of North Somerset Music Service, are joined by professional dancers to form a mobile human jukebox.

You’re invited out onto Weston promenade and high street to dance and sing along in a magnificent, cacophonous, communal karaoke – a ‘massaoke’!

Following celebrated outings in Bristol, Plaistow, Glastonbury Festival, and at London’s Southbank Centre, SMOOSH! is free, inclusive, and family-friendly. No booking required – just turn up and get involved!

Composed by Emma-Jean Thackray

Directed by Charles Hazlewood

Original Choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves with Beth Hinton-Lever

Associate Choreographer Gareth Mole

Artwork supplied by Paraorchestra.



Collectif Malunés – WE AGREE TO DISAGREE

Franco-Belgian contemporary circus company, Collectif Malunés, explore the utopian idea of democracy in this participative show where the audience has its say. Step into their territory and become actors in this interactive circus experience. You may even have the chance to become a figurehead! But be careful not to get locked up in prison. Can we find a way, on this great human adventure, to live equally and in harmony?

High flying subversive thrills along the way guaranteed.

Image by Marie Monteiro.

Alleyne Dance – BONDED

Performed by twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne, BONDED, explores the construct of human dependency – especially that of siblings – and how time and external conditions can affect the synergetic connection.

The work takes the audience through a transitional journey of inter-and-independency through abstract dance narrative.

Alleyne Dance (AD) is a UK based company with an international reach, founded in 2014 by award winning dancers and twin sisters Kristina and Sadé Alleyne. The choreographic aesthetic reflects the sisters diverse background in athleticism and dance training. Within their abstract contemporary construct, Alleyne Dance blend West African, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Kathak and Circus Skills, delivered as fast paced and dynamic movement. They infuse lyrical and fluid motion, layered with rhythm and textures in physically powerful, yet graceful performances.

Alleyne Dance strives for high quality and excellence as the Company delivers its three main objectives: performance, participation and development.

Supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Salisbury International Arts Festival, part of Wiltshire Creative.

Image by Lidia Crisafulli

Motionhouse – CAPTIVE

Four dancers perform this exciting blend of dance, acrobatics and aerial work inside a large cage. Disorientated and shaken, the performers use their skill and instinct to survive in this emotionally charged and athletic piece. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem The Panther, this extraordinary outdoor show explores notions of captivity. Extremely physical, Captive is a thrilling blend of dance and acrobatics with a dynamic narrative exploring human relationships in captivity.

The Company returns to Weston by popular demand following their performance of ‘Wild’ in 2021, which captivated Whirligig audiences.

Captive is supported by Without Walls, Birmingham Hippodrome, Swindon Dance, Bristol City Council and Arts Council England.

Motionhouse is supported by Arts Council England.

Image by Andy Grey.

Avanti Display – SPURTING MAN

‘One of the classic street theatre shows of the last twenty years.’

A silent performance show featuring 200 litres of water in 3 minutes, performed to Ravel’s Bolero!

The show dissects the unequal relationship between the famous specialty performer, ‘The Spurting Man’, and his downtrodden assistant, leading to a series of hilarious comic interactions and displays of squirting water. Finally crowned and, on top of his pedestal, the grand finale takes place and ‘The Spurting Man’ cascades fountains of water from his body. Since this classic European street theatre show was first created in 1995, Avanti Display have presented ‘The Spurting Man’ on four continents and in nineteen different countries and can now add Weston to the list!

Image by Hassan Mahramzadeh.


“Never laughed so much, my jaws are still aching!” Audience member

The Giant Balloon Show will have the audience in stitches and in awe simultaneously, with its hilarious one-man show pushing balloons to their extreme. Expect feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and, of course, the all-important giant balloon as the ever popular Dizzy O’Dare returns to Weston! Take everything you know about balloons, add an award-winning entertainer and an 80s soundtrack, and twist that into a highly entertaining show for the whole family.

Winner of The International Festival of Fools (2017)

Image by Paul Blakemore Photography


Part animal and part mechanical, Hieronymus the hippo is feeling under the weather. Fortunately, his companion doctor/mechanic is only too eager to show you what’s under the bonnet to diagnose the problem. What follows is an array of puppet shows built into the troubled creature revealing the origin of his malaise. Look out for Hieronymus in this irresistible walkabout show on the High Street and help him to feel better!

Image supplied by Thingumajig Theatre

Megan Clark-Bagnall – YOU SHRINE

Artist and social maker Megan Clark-Bagnall salutes all things that POP in Weston, celebrating the people of Weston with a kaleidoscopic nod to the Beatles visit to the town 60 years ago. Join the Whirligig Beetles inside The Sovereign at the ‘You Shrine’ pop-up photo installation to capture your fabulous self.  Then out to the Italian Gardens to drink in a vibrant ‘Celebration of Life’ performance with Beetles of one kind or another.

YOU SHRINE is the final shrine to be created for ‘21st Century super Shrines’, a pioneering heritage project to animate the high street managed by Culture Weston, in collaboration with North Somerset Council. It is part of a four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) cultural programme, funded by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Try your hands (or feet!) at an array of spectacular circus skills from aerial to acrobatics, juggling to balance as the circus professionals from Bristol-based, internationally-acclaimed Circomedia lead a series of playful, family workshops.


Simple Cypher – ROLL PLAY

Prepare to be amazed by the explosive tricks and artful dexterity of Simple Cypher’s newest outdoor production Roll Play. Three performers blur the boundaries between hip hop and circus, using intricate moves and virtuosic agility to give a captivating, cheeky and effortlessly cool performance.

A folding bench is the meeting point for three strangers from different walks of life; a park bench, a bus stop, a waiting room. What unfolds is a series of playful interactions challenging identity, status and societal roles. Divisions between class, race and education are shattered as the characters go on a journey of building trust, lending support and discovering connections between one another.

Roll Play is supported by Without Walls, Arts Council England, 101 Outdoor Arts, Deda and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.


“The funniest and silliest thing I’ve ever seen – pure joy.” Stagetalk Magazine

Award-winning Elvis impersonator Joe Reeve stars in his own version of the classic Elvis film “Blue Hawaii”. Assisted by over-enthusiastic Tour Manager Josephine Cunningham, this is a musical comedy which will leave you all shook up!

Highly visual with lots of audience interaction, plus all your favourite Elvis numbers, this is a show which all the family can enjoy.

From Spitz & Co – the creators of “Gloriator”, “Gloria In the Mist’, and “Les Gloriables”. Devised and performed by Joe Reeve and Susie Donkin. Directed by Greg Banks and Angus Barr.

Image supplied by Spitz & Co.


A satirical exploration examining the eccentricities of the collective British character through the universal language of eccentric dance, circus skills, classic song and variety skill routines, entwined with an original funky soundtrack and intimate comedy.

This duo have a totally fresh approach to the presentation of comedy classics, combined with a sensitive use of volunteers to comedic effect making the audience part of, not apart from, the show.




Ten Stories about Boats, Birds, Sounds, the Sweet Potato, Plastic and especially, People

Take to a rowing boat on Weston’s Marine Lake and lap up the amazing stories within artist Luke Jerram’s thought-provoking and immersive artwork, Crossings in this stunning, seaside setting.

Crossings is a new installation created by multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram and BBC Radio 4 producer Julian May, which was commissioned by Compton Verney for its first presentation during summer 2022.

Part art installation and visitor attraction, Crossings consists of brightly decorated rowing boats, each fitted with speakers that play recorded audio of stories from around the world. In choosing a story and rowing onto the lake, participants are taken on an audio journey, transported to another life and circumstance as they listen to stories about people’s different life experiences and personal testimonies.

Each boat trip is designed to last around 30 minutes with the real-time sounds and experience of rowing blending evocatively with the recordings.

Image supplied by Luke Jerram Studio.


Find out more about visiting Whirligig HERE


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