Mrs WinterbottomThere are often weird and wonderful events that happen in Yorkshire. From races where competitors have to run with sacks of coal on their back to rubber duck races, Light Night in Leeds to the Scarecrow festival out in the Yorkshire Dales. But one I look forward to is Dewsbury Spirit.

Held for only one night, once each year, the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury invites a street theatre troop to perform through the town centre. Previous events have included people hurling balls of fire down the street, huge Dragons being fought by Knights, and last year an underwater spectacle with fish being chased by sharks. This year the German group Theatre Titanick performed a version of their Firebirds production.

It was probably the wackiest performance to date, and wacky was the right word as if you’ve ever seen the kids cartoon “The Wacky Races” you’ll know what it was like. Teams from Russia, France, England and America paraded their steam-punk-esque flying machines around the town in a race to the town hall. Along the way there were wrong turns, breakdowns, and speed-trials as they tried to garner the most support from the audience. Once in-front of the town hall they attempted to take off and fly to London. The Russian and England machines blew up in flames and sparks, whilst the American machine ran out of puff. Only the French managed to get airborne.

The really nice things about the event is they don’t put up barrier along the route the performers follow. This allows for a much more fluid event and more interaction between the performers and those watching. Its a great event, and despite the wet weather this year, Theatre Titanick was probably one of my favourites.

The photo here is Mrs Winterbottom (England) as she drove around the course. You can see the full set of photos over on Flickr.