With less than a week to go the countdown to this year’s Big Splash has begun.

This coming weekend, Newport city centre is set to be transformed with pop-up live music and street theatre, which will create one large outdoor stage.

Thanks to sponsorship from Newport Now, this year’s festival has been able to introduce three new performance areas on Commercial Street, on the corner of Llanarth Street, the corner of Austin Friars and near the statues near Skinner Street. The Newport Now zone will offer a number of performers including Newport’s own Mr & Mrs Clark and Tin Shed Theatre.

Gareth Clark from Mr & Mrs Clark said: “We live and work in Newport and love any opportunity to connect with people. Electioneering, our show for the Big Splash, is a satirical look at how politicians conduct themselves in public and we are very happy to be doing this as part of the festival.”

Kevin Ward, Newport Now BID manager said: “Part of the BID’s role is to ensure as many big members in the city centre benefit from major events. Our partnership with Newport Live for the Big Splash means that there will be performances in Commercial Street and High Street over the weekend.

“We are delighted to be one of the sponsors this year and we are looking forward to a fantastic weekend.”

More than 20 top-class performing companies from across the UK and beyond will be bringing more than 50 free street theatre shows to the city centre, from circus, slapstick, dance, and fantastic walkabouts.

Apart from Mr & Mrs Clark and Tin Shed Theatre, performers include Cirque du Kaka, Puppets with Guts and Kapow Dance will be performing at six main Big Splash zones of entertainment in five locations: The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Friars Walk, Kingsway Shopping Centre, Newport Now zone along Commercial Street and the river walkway between the university and The Wave.

Gillian Mitchell, Head of Theatre Arts & Culture for Newport Live said; “The Big Splash Festival has been helping to attract new visitors to Newport City Centre for many years and we are delighted to include Newport Now as a new partner in 2017. Each year the festival entertains thousands of people for free, bringing lots of weird, wonderful and high-quality performances to catch you when you least expect it!”

Thanks to funding from Newport Live, Newport City Council and the Arts Council of Wales and sponsorship from Friars Walk, Kingsway Centre, Newport NOW and Western Power Distribution, the family street theatre festival, Big Splash will once again entertain thousands of people and take over Newport city centre from Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 July 2017.

To find out more about The Big Splash, including schedules for the day and details of the workshops and companies at the festival, visit www.bigsplashnewport.com. You can also follow the festival on Twitter @BigSplashFest and like the Facebook page at facebook.com/bigsplashnewport.