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Performers take to streets of Durham; BARBARA HODGSON sets the street scene for Durham's upcoming summer festival.

Byline: BARBARA HODGSON

DURHAM is gearing up for its summer festival with an outdoor showcase today of some of the sparkling entertainment on offer.

The Durham Streets of ...

Summer Festival will see some of the best musicians from Africa, Asia and Europe, in the form of Transglobal Underground, get the city on its feet on the run-up to the Bank Holiday weekend.

Over two days, Durham's streets will come alive with a mix of music, including emerging lights on the local folk scene alongside established players, such as Peter Tickell, and street performers ranging from clowns to magicians.

And to give us a taste of the variety that's to come, German gymnast Julius Petri will be outside Gala Theatre today at 1pm.

The world-class athlete, who is currently studying at Durham Business School, will be showing off The Rhoenrad, or German Wheel, which requires skills of strength, grace, balance and co-ordination.

And joining Julius in Millennium Square will be home-grown favourites Five Ring Circus and Bottle Bank Band.

The circus troupe, which has groups in Stockton, Newcastle and across South Tyneside, is made of 12 to 19-year-olds, and during the festival they'll be on "walkabouts" across the city, performing in a variety of acts and costumes.

Bottle Bank Band, meanwhile, was formed in 2009 and is made up of fiddlers Sophy Ball, Hinny Pawsey, David Jones and Stewart Hardy, who combine to give an imaginative twist to a centuries-old tradition.

The Streets of... festival takes place next Friday and Saturday with music focused at two city centre stages: the Carillion Stage in the Market Place, where the line-up will start at 10.30am on the Saturday, and the Walkergate Stage at Millennium Place, where Peter Tickell will play at 1.45pm and Transglobal Underground at 5pm.

Julius Petri, meanwhile, will be back performing in Walkergate at 4.45pm. Other acts include The Great Dave, Shirlee Sunflower, The Black Eagles, Marit Falt and Rona Wilkie, The Poozies and Po'Girl.

The Friday launch night will see Gala Theatre host Sing-A-Long-A Rocky Horror Picture Show at 9pm, following an 8.15pm performance outside the theatre to get audiences in the mood with a free goody bag of props.

Rounding off the festival on the Saturday night will be an outdoor concert called Folk in the Garden.

Featuring the Bottle Bank Band alongside Northumbrian piper Andy May and singer Benny Graham, the outdoor concert will take place at the 13th Century Crook Hall & Gardens, in the centre of Durham, where gates will open at 6pm and audiences can bring along a picnic to enjoy with the music between 8pm and 10pm.

Tickets to both shows cost pounds 15 and are available from the theatre at www.galadurham.co.uk or by calling 0191 332 4041.

CAPTION(S):

HOME GROWN Five Ring Circus, a troupe of 12 to 19-year-olds, will be doing "walkabouts" in the city WELL KNOWN Folk artist Peter Tickell
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 20, 2011
Words:487
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