A car appears to float effortlessly on the Manchester Ship Canal as it tows a caravan behind.

A giant bed is rowed gracefully by a person in their pyjamas and a refuse collector glides across the shining surface with his wheelie bin.

These visions will be made real as Ilotopie’s Water Fools brings spectacular theatre and thrilling pyrotechnics to the open water of The Quays, Manchester’s waterfront on Saturday, July 20, at 9.30pm.

Internationally-acclaimed theatre company, Ilotopie will be creating a magical experience of light, laughter and lasting memories after wowing audiences in Europe, Asia and the US.

Water Fools invites audiences into a world of waterborne magic between The Lowry and MediaCityUK, now home to BBC North.

The action starts as a man’s head inexplicably appears to burst into flames, simultaneously catapulting him from his humdrum life and triggering a dreamlike sequence of extraordinary happenings with each scene staged on the shimmering water.

Devised by innovative French artist Bruno Roubicek, the entire performance will be punctuated by stunning fireworks, introducing audiences of all ages to a series of mysterious, playful characters as they float into the action. The backdrop of the dark night sky will give Ilotopie’s pyrotechnic experts a blank canvas on which to devise their rapid-fire light show, whilst Roubicek’s range of characters ride bikes, parade floating islands and walk giant paddle wheels across the water.

Presented by Quays Culture, the event is free to audiences and is the first in a series of signature events leading up to the first Quays Festival in 2015.

The Water Fools experience will be accompanied by a free talk (booking essential) at The Lowry, where Bruno Roubicek will discuss environmental arts practice, the use of outdoor settings and future ways of living and engaging with the landscape with Bill Mitchell from renowned outdoor theatre company Wildworks from 7pm.

  • Water Fools by Ilotopie, Saturday July 20, 9.30pm FREE. On the dock between The Lowry and MediaCityUK, The Quays, Greater Manchester. Duration: 45 minutes Bruno Roubicek in conversation with Bill Mitchell, Saturday 20 July 20, 7pm. FREE (booking essential). Studio One,The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ.