Wear ready to wow the crowds with high-wire act at Tall Ships in Sunderland

High-wire walker Chris Bullzini is all ready to traverse the River Wear under floodlight - and the conditions are not too far off perfect for it.

Friday, 13th July 2018, 3:24 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:56 pm

The tightrope walker from Cirque Bijou is just hours away from climbing a 100ft high, 700ft long, inclined high wire without a safety net to cross the river at 9pm tonight.

He, and fellow artist Johanne Humblet, will do it in front of tens of thousands of Sunderland spectators as he climbs to a platform on the Wearmouth Bridge.

Tight rope walkers Chris Bullzini (right) and Joanne Alwen.

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They’ll be just yards from a 100-strong choir singing on the bridge while a fleet of boats - each with people holding illuminated umbrellas - parades by underneath them.

It’s going to be an amazing spectacle but Chris was full of confidence.

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Heg Brignall, from Seaham, has written all the music which will accompany the 22-minute show. All her Sunderland-based family will be there to watch.

She will also be performing with her band Heg and The Wolf Choir which consists of cello, violin, keyboard and double bass.

And she has prepared a music programme which is full of locally themed sounds.

Heg said: “It is very exciting to be doing this with all of my family there.”

Picture special: Drone photographs show Tall Ships in Sunderland from aboveMeanwhile, Chris explained how nerve-wracking high-wire occasions are no new thing to him. After all, it’s where he got married!

He and bride Phoebe Bullzini tied the knot three years ago above Wookey Hole, a cave network in Somerset.

The two of them were a similar height above ground to Chris’s Sunderland stunt. He explained more.

“We said ‘I do’ and then we hauled the rings up from the ground.”

Tonight’s Cirque Bijou performance gets under way on the riverside from 9pm.