French fire conspirators Compagnie Carabosse in London 2012 spectacular at Stonehenge

By Ben Miller | 10 July 2012
A photo of a fire pot on rural land under the cover of darkness
© Boris Abalain
Event: Fire Garden, Stonehenge, Amesbury, until July 12 2012

Folkloric for being aligned with the rising and setting of the sun, things are about to get more fiery at Stonehenge.

Compagnie Carabosse, a bunch of French fire exhibitionists, are about to turn Wiltshire’s finest Neolithic stronghold into a glowing fairytale as part of London 2012, with dancing pyrotechnic sculptures, flaming pots animating the stones, candles cascading around the pathways and huge fireballs.

“Carabosse are one of the world’s most celebrated outdoor theatre companies,” says Ruth Mackenzie, the Festival Director for the forthcoming Olympic stampede.

“Stonehenge is one of the world’s most loved tourist attractions. Salisbury International Arts Festival are brilliantly bringing the two together – it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who see it live, and an amazing sight to millions more around the world.”

The cultural calendar of events accompanying the games can feel bewilderingly dense, but this combination of historic site and eye-catching performance seems certain to rival anything taking place on the tracks in faraway London.

“Stonehenge has been a place of celebration for thousands of years,” says English Heritage’s Simon Thurley, keeping an eye on the druidic past.

“It is fitting that it plays a role in this major cultural celebration.” His team are advising visitors to spend an hour taking in the Garden, promising a “beautiful and unique artistic endeavour”. Their French accomplices have a toasty treat in store.

  • Runs 9pm-midnight. Tickets £3-£6, advance only. Book online.

More pictures:

A photo of a lamp with shards of flame flying out of it on a track in a rural setting
Carabosse describe themselves as fire alchemists
© Vincent Muteau
A photo of people walking through dozens of lit lanterns past trees in the countryside
Concentric circles of flame are among the hot delights on offer
© Sylvie Monier
A photo of a lamp with purple fire coming out of it in an outdoor setting
The Fire Garden has been designed to be suitable for all ages© Sylvie Monier
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