COMPETITORS will be aiming not to break sweat when they go head to head on the streets of Stratford next month.
The town will be hosting the UK’s first National Living Statue Championship over the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations weekend from April 20 to 22.
The championship, on the Saturday and Sunday, will be a highlight of the revamped and extended annual celebration of Stratford’s famous son – and competitors are coming from far and wide.
Dermot McGillicuddy, director of organisers LSD Promotions, said: “The response to the event has been fantastic. We have artists attending from Spain, Greece, Holland, Poland, the Ukraine, Cleveland, Ireland and from across the UK.
“We also have both the current child world champion and the current Dutch child champion so it certainly promises to be a great event. We can’t wait to showcase the wide range of top talent on offer.”
But there will be some homegrown opposition in the form of Stratford’s very own Zdenek Goc – better known as the Statue Knight – who can regularly be seen outside the birthplace in Henley Street.
Stratford District Council chairman George Atkinson was looking forward to the champisonships.
He said: “Living Statues are immensely popular and draw crowds into towns and cities all over the world. Having the first UK National Living Statue Championship is a real coup for Stratford and we are very pleased to have this form of art entertainment added to our offer.”
The competition in Bancroft Gardens will have two categories – professional with a £5,000 first prize, and junior section with a £50 first prize – judged on character, costume and make-up.
Professionals will need to complete at least five 45-minute performances over the weekend, with juniors carrying out four 30-minute performances during the championship.
The winner will be announced at the bandstand on the recreation ground at 4.15pm on the Sunday.