The World Famous was formed in 1998 and grew into one of the leading firework and pyrotechnic performance companies in the world.
It stood in a long tradition of British large-scale outdoor arts that includes the crazy bonfire societies of Lewes, the 1960s political spectacles of Welfare State International and the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The company consisted of pyrotechnicians, artists, designers, performers, technicians, musicians and adventurers who created extraordinary outdoor multi-media shows seen by hundreds of thousands of people across the world.
The company closed in 2013.
What they said about The World Famous:
Lyn Gardner (The Guardian):
It’s a cold windy night in late 2001 but several thousand of us are gathered on open-ground on the outskirts of Croydon. The wind gusts across the field but we don’t notice the chill. Our faces illuminated by golden Catherine wheels and cascades of silver sparks, we gaze upwards and open-mouthed as a glowing tower of flame begins to collapse in on itself and an iridescent blue insect is illuminated against the sky. The show is called Sticky, and it has been created by Improbable and The World Famous. It is the latter’s pyrotechnics that leave stars in our eyes.
More than a decade on my children still talk about the night they saw “the insect fly away to freedom” just as they talk about the day they saw the Sultan’s Elephant or the night they watched aerialists hover over Lake Windermere as part of Lakes Alive.
The last 15 years have seen an explosion of street arts in the UK from large scale interventions such as La Princesse or Sea Odyssey in Liverpool, to the gorgeous, gaudy transformations of high streets and shopping malls that take place every year as part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival. What were the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic and Para-Olympics other than a giant celebration which drew unashamedly on the street arts tradition? With a big enough budget, we can amaze not just ourselves but the entire world. The World Famous helped light the way.
Audience member (Cleethorpes Festival of Fire):
I don’t mind paying my council tax now.
These people create tremendous excitement. If anyone does it better, I haven’t come across them.
Joseph Nair (Singapore Business Times):
Never have fireworks been so poetic or in-your-face, thanks to the gentle comedic touch of The World Famous.
Maxine Pierce (Landlady):
You and your team are just a great set of people to know. It would be lovely in this world if everyone conducted themselves in business & pleasure as you all do!
What they said about Sticky:
David Micklem (Arts Council England):
A wonderful collaboration between world leaders in different disciplines… without doubt one of the artistic highlights of my year.
Ian Shuttleworth (The Financial Times):
The tower rises before the audience, creating fantastical images as it grows, and then explodes in a blaze of shooting stars and Catherine wheels, releasing a huge winged insect. It is spectacular, but also extraordinarily moving.
Ron Banks (The West Australian):
An experience that lingers in the memory. An intriguing blend of sound, light, theatre, dazzling fireworks and engineering skills of the most inexplicable kind.
What they said about Crackers?:
Jayda Arathoon (Sydney):
…it re-presenced me to the fact that I have been playing it safe all my life and never given myself the freedom to take risks, each day…it was so inspiring, my husband turned to me and said, ‘it makes you realise that life really is wonderful!’