Preston City Centre will be transformed into an impressive arena of world class outdoor and Lancashire arts, celebrating the heritage and creativity of the county and marking Preston Pride and Run Preston. A packed programme of performance, music, street theatre and art at various locations across three days promises to immerse audiences in both intimate experiences and large scale spectacles.
The Red Rose installation of 4000 bright red balloons down Surgeon’s Court will transform Preston into a rose-tinged wonderland. There is something around every corner that will intrigue and delight including many artistic adventures in unusual spaces such as the curious Forest Bazzaar on the Grassy Knoll and Artfull’s Paper Extravaganza and Gold Thread Bobbins among Preston’s Independent retailers down Cannon and Guild Hall Streets.
Our top picks include following the action of Acrojou’s The Wheel House – a moving acrobatic show inside a circular set and the opportunity to meet Spacelord Scientist Dr NEW in interstellar street theatre show Alien Robots Stole My IPig. The brilliant outdoor and immersive theatre company Les Enfants Terribles are also bringing their weirdest wonder emporium the Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie to town.
Dancing on the streets begins with Light Migrations led by Ludus, a mass performance celebrating the Lancashire Voice featuring over 100 performers and award-winning musician and producer Kuljit Bhamhra’s Chutney which tells the story of a princess under the spell of a wicked spirit. The impressive dance programme across the weekend includes the energetic Core (part 1) a new commission performed on a bespoke structure on the balcony of Preston’s Guild Hall, Pass by Hawk Dance Theatre where dancers and passers-by become interchangeable, Brace Yourself by UClan and Ludo Dance which breaks the boundaries of commuting at Preston Station and the mesmerising Push, a brilliant duet by Manchester’s celebrated Company Chameleon.
It’s worth staying up late for the large-scale spectacular The Procession of Light at 8pm on Saturday themed around both illumination and inventiveness.
Whether you plan carefully or simply stumble across intriguing and out of the ordinary happenings, Lancashire Encounter is a brilliant outdoor autumn adventure.