Saturday 13 September 2003 8.47am
... it's the Thames Festival this weekend
*** Remember - the Fireworks are on the Saturday this year ***
*** First large scale event on Jubilee Gardens
for 7 years ***
"Please note that unlike previous years there will be no fireworks display on the river following the Procession of Lights on Sunday 14th September.
However on Saturday 13th, there will be a spectacular show with fire and pyrotechnics called Sticky. This performance takes place in Jubilee Gardens
at 8pm. "
The Thames Festival in association with The South Bank Centre present Sticky by Improbable Theatre with the World Famous
Suppoted by: South Bank Centre, Arts Council England, Mayor of London, Arts & Business, Unilever, Lever Faberge. Volunteer participants provided in partnership with Lever Fabergé and Unilever Ice Cream & Frozen Foods
Susannah Clapp, giving a round up in The Observer of the most innovative and exciting events in 2002 called Sticky “the most imaginative event of the year”. Created as an outdoor spectacle by Improbable Theatre in collaboration with pryro-wizards The World Famous, Sticky will be the first large scale theatrical event presented on Jubilee Gardens
for over seven years.
“The first thing you are aware of is the noise. It sounds both familiar and strange, like the effort of 1,000 insect wings flapping. Then you suddenly realise what it is: the sound of hundreds of feet of sticky tape being unwound.
The sheer scale of this piece is thrilling. It is like watching someone build the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower. There are plenty of crowd-pleasing fireworks, but what sets this apart from mere spectacle is metaphor. The sticky tape edifice miraculously rises from the ground but the human effort involved is incredible. It sways against the night sky, ethereal, beautiful and mysterious, its top looking like an exquisite spun sugar cap. Thirty minutes later, it is gone, destroyed in a blaze of gunpowder, shooting stars and Catherine wheels. All that effort for nothing. It makes humans seem like mayflies or the delicate blue-winged insect that flies inside the sticky tape tower, beating her wings desperately against its sides.
There is wit at work here, too: at one point the tower is transformed into an incendiary Big Ben, time destroying all in its path. Improbable has also learned the lesson that this kind of large outdoor event requires a very strong element of secular ritual and magic. Figures move across the landscape conjuring fire, the loudspeakers blare out stirring music of the kind that makes religion or fascism seem attractive, the big bangs are cleverly spaced against the quieter more reflective moments. At the end, the tower blazes and collapses. Balloons drift lazily across the night sky like little bubbles or like the O-gape of surprise that your mouth makes when you've just witnessed something amazing and quite unexpected.” The Guardian.