Competitors in the National Living Statue Championship have spilled their secrets to success and given advice for those looking to get into the industry ahead of this year’s international competition.

Living Statue performer Matt Walters, also known by his stage name Mechanical Fracture, won last year’s top prize and this year international competitors will gather again in the hopes of winning the 2019 championships in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The competition will take place as part of the Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations weekend on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, with entrants from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Holland, the Ukraine and all over the UK travelling to the town to take part.

With more than 35 years-worth of experience as a Living Statue, Matt expressed his excitement at having been involved in last year’s internationally-renowned competition and called for people to get more involved with the industry.

“Last year, I won with my chimney sweep costume which takes about half an hour to paint myself so my advice for those competing this year and anyone looking to get into the Living Statue industry would be that you have to be able to adapt quickly and patience is key!” he said. “It can be tricky maintaining that focus but be patient and practice and you’ll get there.”

Although Matt is unable to compete at this year’s event, Eve Cartwright from Stourbridge will be returning to Stratford for the chance to take on this year’s crown.

She said: “I'm really excited to be returning to the Championships this year, it's an excellent opportunity to meet other performers and see how they interpret the art form. There was a really great vibe last year, with so much going on for Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations too.”

The competition will take place across the weekend with the winner being decided by public vote on Sunday at 4pm at the Bancroft Basin and an informal practice for the performers will take place on the Friday evening.

Dermot McGillicuddy, Director of LSD Promotions who organise the National Living Statue Competition and the markets at the Celebrations on behalf of the Town and District Councils, added: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome back the best of last year’s performers to compete for this year’s crown along with some new incredible artists.

“The standard of this year’s competition is incredible; it’s been a really tough choice deciding who will be coming to perform but we’re very excited to see our artists in action as this year there will be some of the biggest names in the Living Statue industry coming from around the world.

 “Due to the impressive standard of the competition, we’re expecting large crowds to turn out and decide the winner so make sure you come along and vote for your favourite!”

The weekend of celebrations will also see the traditional Celebration Parade and Flag Unfurling Ceremony on the Saturday and the Quill Ceremony on the Sunday along with street performances and workshops, a market and food stalls all happening across the town.  

The winner will be decided via a special app for the event and then announced on Sunday, April 5 at 5pm.

For more information on where to see the National Living Statue Championships at Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, visit http://www.shakespearescelebrations.com/.