This year’s International Youth Arts Festival will feature acts including extreme sports, a street carnival and two guys trapped in a cardboard box.

Kingston will be showcasing the talents of artists, theatre companies and musicians from all over the world in the three-week festival that last year drew a crowd of thousands.

Festival organisers will be celebrating with a launch party on May 28 at the Rose Theatre culture cafe.

Residents are invited to talk to the stars behind the scenes and get their first glimpse of the full programme.

Jeremy Sachs, festival director, said: “It looks like it is going to be tremendous.

“There is no one act the same as the other. We’ve got folksy bands, MCs, theatre companies and a circus.

“I imagine that will be the start of the buzz and once that has started we will just build from there.”

The opening variety concert, Raise the Roof, will kick off at the Rose Theatre on July 12.

Mr Sachs said: “It will be one show where you can see a lot of different shows taking place.

"The National Youth Music Theatre will be doing a 10-minute piece. The Roundhouse in Camden is doing a five-minute piece.

"It will be a nice, big kind of launch in the show as part of the festival.”

A long line-up of productions are stealing the bill at the Rose, with everything from classic fairy tales, infant music shows, and even a comedy sketch featuring two men and a box.

There will be live music, street theatre and dance every weekend at two outdoor stages in the Market Place and Eagle Brewery Wharf.

And the IYAF carnival will be parading through town on July 14 from 3pm.

The festival takes place from July 6-28. Tickets have already gone on sale, with an advance prize for the festival pass of £70 for adults and £35 for concessions.

The line-up includes

Tiffin Swing Band - July 12 at 7.30pm

Persephone by Circus Suburbia Youth Circus - July 13 to 23

Headcase with contemporary puppetry - July 14 at 1pm

George's Marvellous Medicine by T24 - July 15 to 16

Infant Music Festival by Kingston Music Service - July 15 to 16

Pillowman. A dark tale from The Rooster Company made up of Kingston University graduates - July 17 to 20

Squeezebox with Our Friends Records - a night of 1920s fancy dress and live music - July 17 at 9pm

Evening of Dance - July 20 at 8pm


For a full list of the IYAF shows at the Rose visit