Giant insects set to parade down streets of Milton Keynes

Sarruga and their city-conquering Insectes will parade as part of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival
Sarruga and their city-conquering Insectes will parade as part of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival

Giant mechanical insects are set to parade their way through MK – in the latest spectacular show as part of the IF: Milton Keynes International Festival.

Produced every two years by The Stables, the festival returns for its fifth edition from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July.

Middleton Hall and Queens Court will be joining the public spaces of the city, and venues including The Stables and Milton Keynes Theatre to host a programme of new commissions, outdoor and large-scale performance, live music, circus, stand-up comedy, family activities and free events.

And Catalan company Sarruga and their city-conquering Insectes show will take over the streets for the free opening night event.

Giant mechanical insects parade through the city streets in a larger-than-life spectacle with music and special effects. Operated by cycle power, these mini-beasts become super-sized fantastical steam-breathing giants towering over cars and audiences, feasting on trees and staring into upper floor windows.

The Insectes will weave their way through the city from 9.45pm, ending up in Campbell Park for a firework finale.

Other highlights include the UK premiere of Halka by Groupe Acrobatique De Tanger from Morocco. This collective of 14 acrobats and musicians offer us their perspective on their hometown of Tangier.

Halka – the Arabic word to describe the circle formed by a crowd gathered around street performers – takes its audiences on a journey through bustling market places, cafés and beaches, sharing stories with a combination of traditional and contemporary acrobatics, tumbling and high-flying human pyramids

And then there's La Cocina Pública, a mobile community kitchen housed in a shipping container from Chilean company Teatro Container. Members of Teatro Container will work with the community in West Bletchley to go in search of unofficial local recipes – and their associated stories.

Using food to create social interaction, and drawing on local traditions and neighbourhood customs, La Cocina Pública brings communities together to cook, eat, and enjoy live music and conversation.

This year's festival programme is underpinned by the contemporary themes of migration, community, identity and home.

Visit www.ifmiltonkeynes.org for more information