SIRF's Up in Town Again. Stockton International Riverside Festival: From July 30 to August 2: Karen McLauchlan Reports:

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Byline: Karen McLauchlan

EXPECT the unexpected ... that's the message to visitors heading to Stockton this summer for the town's annual arts fiesta.

Now in its 22nd year, STOCKTON INTERNATIONAL RIVERSIDE FESTIVAL takes place from July 30 to August 2 and will again welcome artists and street theatre companies from across the globe.

At the heart of the festival will be NoFit State Circus who will make their home in Trinity Gardens and invite you to join them in a joyful exploration and celebration of the secret life of public parks.

Their show Parklife will premiere at SIRF and, in the run up to the performances, there will be a series of workshops for local creative groups who will be able to be part of Britain's leading contemporary circus.

Regulars to Stockton International Riverside Festival have come to expect the unexpected and this year visitors will not be disappointed! After the success of Diversity on the hit show Britain's Got Talent, street dance has never been more popular.

Coming to SIRF is the all male quartet who make up Balletboyz II - The Next Generation who will perform their outdoor dance piece The Laws Of Motion..

Deabru Beltzsak bring their urban dance piece Bande Deplacee to Stockton - watch out as peculiar characters, similar to the ancient Samurai, hit the streets blending dance with fire and rhythms.

Other highlights include Little Box Of Horrors - a playful and artfully choreographed peep show and Digital Funfair where audiences can release their tension with a virtual coconut shy.

Watch in amazement as Emma Kerger (aka Bendy Em) contorts herself into a tiny 16 inch Perspex box and marvel at the strength of the Strongest Lady Alive! Another new show at SIRF is Until Now.

Developed by acrobatics group Mimbre, it combines world class acrobatics with physical theatre and dance, using a unique physical language to tell stories and create imagery.

This year's Community Carnival will take centre stage on Saturday, August 1, as around 1,000 people make their way along Stockton High Street. …