Sensoria is all set to go swimmingly

A splashing time to be had: Hathersage open-air pool ' good weather not guaranteed for Sensoria's cinema night.
A splashing time to be had: Hathersage open-air pool ' good weather not guaranteed for Sensoria's cinema night.
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It is a festival which, in previous years, has turned a series of unlikely Sheffield venues into unusual temporary cinemas. The law courts, the cathedral and Firth Court have all been transformed to show classic movies.

Now organisers of Sensoria – Sheffield’s annual weekend extravaganza of film, music and digital art – are hoping their latest screening will go just as... swimmingly.

This year’s programme is announced today, and The Diary can reveal the headline event will see Hathersage outdoor pool turned into an open air movie theatre. Film lovers are encouraged to take along their bathers, overlook the fact it will inevitably be raining, and do some widths while watching a screening of, fittingly, The Big Blue.

“We’re calling it a dive-in, as opposed to a drive-in,” says Jo Wingate, director and founder of Sensoria, now in its sixth year. “There’ll even be underwater speakers so you can hear what’s going on at all times.”

Other highlights of this year’s festival will include a mining brass band playing at St Vincent’s Club in Solly Street, Sheffield, Mighty Boosh actor Mike Fielding appearing at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, and a variety of art house film premiers at The Showroom cinema in Paternoster Row.

The pool-side screening on at 7pm on Saturday, September 28, meanwhile, will be followed a day later by an actual drive-in at Sylvester Street Car Park. American Graffiti will be shown.

“Sensoria is all about celebrating our urban landscape as well as great music and film,” says Jo at the festival’s Bank Street headquarters. “Site-specific shows create a touch of magic. They make watching these great films a very exciting experience.”

Previous highlights of the annual weekend – which this year runs from September 26 to 29 – have included a performance by British Sea Power, an installation by Bill Drummond and a screening of The Passion Of Joan Of Arc in, ironically perhaps, the cathedral. Some 11,000 people attended more than two dozen events in 2012 with delegates travelling from across Europe. It is hoped a series of free events – including a Sheffield musical heritage walk – will boost that number to 20,000 this year.

“In these economically difficult times that has to be good for Sheffield,” says Jo. “We’re encouraging culture and investment here.”

MUSIC, MOVIES AND THE MIGHTY BOOSH

The Sensoria 2013 programme is announced today. Other highlights, besides the dive-in and the drive-in include:

Mighty Boosh actor Noel Fielding and Coronation Street star Julie Stewart will appear at The Lantern Theatre in Now Will You Listen! a story-telling show described as Jackanory on a parallel planet (The Lantern Theatre, Kenwood Park Road, September 29, 3.30pm and 7.30pm).

Creswell Colliery Band will play at historic St Vincent’s Club accompanying a film about... themselves. The documentary Underground Music is about the group – and mining village’s – past (St Vincent’s Club, Solly Street, September 27, 7pm)

The world’s leading recorder of wildlife and natural phenomena (and Sheffielder to boot) Chris Watson will give a talk on his work (Electric Works, Sheaf Street, Friday September 27, 10am).

A party will officially open the new Edward Street Park with a day of live music and family-friendly entertainment (Edward Street, September 28, 10am – 9pm).

Full programme available from today at www.sensoria.org.uk