I WAS IN THE UXBRIDGE EVENT ON SUNDAY AS A MEMBER OF BLOCO DO SUL SAMBA BATERIA (I’M A SURDO PLAYER) – YOUR SAMBA-PLAYING ANTS WERE JUST SENSATIONAL – MIND-BLOWING CONCEPT AND COSTUMES – 12 FOOT TALL ANTS FOR GOD’S SAKE! – AND GREAT SAMBA PLAYING TO BOOT. INCREDIBLE. THE DALI AND GALA WERE HILARIOUS, REALLY UP TO VENICE CARNIVAL STANDARD – IN FACT WE WERE CONVINCED THAT YOU MUST BE FROM BERLIN OR VENICE OR PRAGUE – NOBODY ENGLISH COULD BE THAT BRILLIANTLY AND STYLISHLY WEIRD!! DICK QUINNELLVIEWS
2001 Fiona Ellis in Northern Review event of the month rated Grand Magix, the NWSI finale of the Stockton international Riverside Festival, top equal with Robert Lapage’s Dark Side of the Moon. (As Lapage is god… to agree would be to suffer from delusions of grandeur but thanks anyway Fiona!)
NWSI at the Fira delighted the audience with a torrent of visual imagery and after a storm of applause left everyone with the pure excitement of art.
- Carlos Gill, Director of the Fira de Carrer de Tarrega, 1995
Beautifully graceful body movements, incredible stretched costumes, and alarm activating fireworks, combined with an excellent musical mix gave their set an irresistable edge over the competition.
- Review of the Plymouth Barbican Street Theatre Festival, 1995
Neighbourhood Watch Stilts was the group that stunned spectators with its “extraordinary explosion of colour and movement”.
- Little Hampton Gazette, 1997
An enthusiastic audience of young and old followed a series of transformations, where the actors, roam in undulating motion across the setts at Vaagsalmenningen. two to each all-enveloping textile costume, kept evolving into new shapes. As living sculptures in red and black and white, they transformed themselves from one minute to the next. Beautiful
and somewhat mystical. A rapport is established between the audience and the performers, who emerge in more and more of these strange groups through a narrow opening in the red cloth that forms a boundary between stage and backstage areas.
With four stilts each, and completely covered in their gorgeous fabrics, they make us wonder sometimes which parts are arms and which are legs. Two tower high over the rest, and suddenly challenge one another to a fight! Recalling the days of Knights, they use stilts as lances. There follows a strange formal stilt-dance, a kind of wooden-legged pas-de-deux. Then they entwine, face to face.
Meanwhile, something that might be a millipede comes crawling out, becoming a great amoebic mass with maybe a dozen people inside. The creature wriggles in every direction, while children and adults alike, stare in fascination. The giant amoeba returns the stares, throwing itself towards us with its own mouths agape, as the music is whipped up into a crescendo. Then the wall-to-wall monster is whirled back and forth, changing shape so dramatically that it eventually resembles nothing so much as a storm-whipped sea. As the sea withdraws, it even seems to ‘bow’ gratefully for the audience’s applause.
- Chromarama review extracts from Bergen’s Tidende Homepage Review of Chromarama at Vaagsalmenningen, 27 May 2002
A complete and lasting impression was guaranteed by the work of Newcastle street theatre company Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International. Three times they plunged into the Kronenplatz and three times they astounded the crouds with their fantastic costumes and enchanting performance. Whether it was the inquisitive and audacious bird riders, or the heart stopping worm characters, or the lights of the flaming fireworks and frenzy of rhythm, the ensemble transfixed the gaze of young and old alike.
- Karlsruhe daily paper, Montag 15 Juli 1996
Fire, noise, smoke, drums, stilt-walkers and evil giants invaded the audience as Armageddon descended on Arundel Castle! It was pure, visceral, thrilling theatre…a superb and totally fantastic finale of a type which people seldom experience.
- Jeremy Evans, 1997
I was completely blown away by Neighbourhood Watch and the impact they had on the kids, it was as if their world had changed once they saw them, because they never had conceived that creatures like that could exist.
- Paul Collard , Drector of the Newhaven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Newhaven Register, 1998 .
Place Masséna hier après midi c’est le chenille qui redémarre Un mille pattes extraordinaire par sa longueur, ses couleurs et surtout par son originalitéas.
- Nice Matin lundi 18 Fevrier 2002 (at Nice Carnival Parade) .
Tarrega Carlos gill
Uno descarga de imagines en movimiento que le dejan a uno con la simple emotion de la plastica lo que puede ser para muchos una tormente de satisfaccion
The finale from Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International in 2004 was quite breathtaking — the Fair committee should have been very proud of what they achieved. Incidentally, if Neighbourhood Watch are ever on again in Alnwick (or indeed anywhere) SEE THEM — you will be blown away!!!
The Ant Orkezdra reference following performance at sky High Festival Durham with Trans express and Heliosphere 2006
Here’s one of the quotes from one of the visitors to the event
‘We enjoyed all the activities, the kids played on the music, things ie tree trunks and xylophones with the tree branches and really enjoyed them. The favourite I think was the ants and we loved how they marched through the crowds’
From the teams point of the view the performance really complimented the rest of the performances of the festival, the explosive launch of the ants, their procession through the crowd and musical accompaniment really lifted our festival and the increased the sense of celebration at the event. Regards James
James Lowther Arts Development Team 0191 370 8820 JamesLowther@durham.gov.uk
Arts Development Team Adult and Community Services – Culture and Leisure
The Rivergreen Centre, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TS
SOZNAK 2006 Blythe (the NWSI street band)
SOZNAK were really good fun, great play list. People old and young were dancing along to the music.
Loved the version of Stormy Weather, All musicians incredibly talented and solos section were always impressive. I was very pleased
Helen Moore (01670 542267) Blyth Valley Borough Council Cultural development officer re open air performance of Soznak Blyth in a new light festival 5th Nov 2006
“Thank you so much for your help in making the 2006 London St. Patrick’s Day Parade such a great event – it was a wonderful success and I appreciate the time and effort you put into making it so! The caterpillar was a key centre point in the parade, wowing all the spectators and getting many comments! Look forward to working together again”.
- Basra Events