Imaginary Friends

Manchester

Ten performers and ten life-size puppets lead the audience on a journey through the twisting and turning streets of group relationships. Imaginary Friends is a mobile outdoor performance, combining narrative with group improvisation, singing and theatrical set-pieces.

The troupe come to life in a series of guises, continually remaking themselves into  a gang of drunks, a group of  ventriloquists, a dance troupe, nurses and patients, children and teddy-bears, rescuers and the rescued, the socially embarrassed and the socially embarrassing. Imaginary Friends fuses choreography, improvisation and singing to mould images of tenderness, humour, surprise and cartoon-style violence into a story of life on the move.

Imaginary Friends is a collaboration between the British company Whalley Range All Stars and the Dutch company Babok.  Both groups explore a variety of outdoor theatre forms and how these can interact with the public.

About Whalley Range All Stars

Whalley Range All Stars is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading street theatre companies, combining visual art with performance to create vivid, imaginative and intelligent productions and installations for outdoor festivals and events.

WRAS was formed in 1982 by Artistic Directors, Edward Taylor and Sue Auty, who had worked together previously in Dogtroep (Amsterdam) and Horse & Bamboo (Lancashire). They set about creating distinctive theatrical events in places least expected; direct, spontaneous contact with a wide variety of audiences, in ways and places which are accessible to everyone; a fresh, funny and fearless approach to street theatre.

Since then, the company has created more than 65 different shows, installations and events, performing to hundreds of thousands of people in 23 countries over 5 continents; in places as varied as the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, a cage in a zoo, a vivarium, a busy Singapore market place, a railway station, a shop window in Melbourne, a derelict cinema, a monsoon festival in Oman, and Wall Street in New York.

Productions regularly receive critical, artistic and popular acclaim for their imagination, technical ingenuity and quality.

Funding, commissioning and partner credits:

Commissioned by Without Walls
Supported by Lakes Alive and Arts Council England