Fantasy fish and plastic beach at Bournemouth

BOURNEMOUTH’s always inventive Arts by the Sea Festival offers some wild and witty watery adventures at this year’s seventh annual festival, from 14th to 21st October.

With a theme of Plastic Beach, to highlight the serious environmental concerns about plastic pollutions in the oceans, the festival offers a line-up that ranges from fantastic fantasy fish to wild water and light projections, mesmerising mermaids to a myriad of music and performance.

This autumn festival of arts and contemporary culture makes the most of Bournemouth’s diverse locations, award winning gardens and various indoor venues with more than 70 events, both free and ticketed, offering a broad mix of visual and performance art, live music, dance, museum open days, comedy, magic, kids’ raves and entertainment, light installations, film screenings and workshops.

The Plastic Beach theme takes a serious look at how the synthetic quality of modern life has made its mark in the seas. Over the last 30 years, millions of tons of plastic have entered the oceans. Global production of plastic now stands at 288 million tonnes per year, of which ten per cent ends up in the ocean.

Oil, radioactive waste, chemical sewage and most visibly plastics, have found their way into the oceans and stomachs of marine life.

Fun though they are, many of the festival’s events will also make audiences think about this shocking situation, and hopefully commit to making their own contribution.

Davy Jones, the Deep Sea Fish is the colourful story of a deep-sea fish on a trike, who comes from the sea to flounder through the streets and gardens of Bournemouth –literally and metaphorically he is a fish out of water. He speaks of the mysteries of the seas in the form of music and bubbles, squirting water at passers-by and playing Deep Sea Radio through his gills.

Created by Rag and Bone, a company of artists, makers, musicians, performers, storytellers, dreamers, inventors and researchers who are create vivid, memorable outdoor performance, Davy Jones is on Saturday 14th at various day times..

Hydromania, at the Town Hall on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th at 7.30pm, is a family friendly performance with humble beginnings and an epic finale. It is designed to engage with the architecture of its location, combining a vibrant interplay of water and light, physical performance and music.

The performance by Avanti starts with the company’s famous piece, The Spurting Man, with comic mime, live band, choreographed dance and watery effects. With no storyline or narrative, and a multi-sensory display of light and sound, the show is free and unticketed.

Throughout the opening weekend, 14th and 15th October, spectacular sea creatures will roam through the Lower Gardens, captivating audiences. Wherever you look, Arts by the Sea will be making you smile, laugh, and hopefully think a little about your own plastic footprints in the oceans …

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