Tom, from Polymathematics (the company whose creations these are), has created a really nice promo video of what we do, which you can see here:
The more I work with these puppets, the more I enjoy it, firstly, because you're always discovering new ways of interacting and new levels of movement they can achieve, and secondly, the physical strength needed to heft them around (they're soooo heavy) has become almost like an addiction, in the way that many of the disciplines within circus can be; it's painful, but my God do you get a good adrenaline rush afterwards.
My friend Mary and I also were fortunate enough to spend a lovely two days developing The Double D's, our street theatre act, at Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham. As part of my commitment to the Arts Council and the funding they provided for the first 3 months of my training at Circomedia, we also ran a workshop for Theatre Professionals based in the East Midlands, which was a really wonderful experience. We had around 12 participants from all different areas of theatre, and guided them through skills in acro, aerial and manipulation, before moving on to some devising tasks which focussed on integrating circus and theatre. It was a joy to work with such talented and intelligent people, and the session received great feedback. Hopefully sessions like this will help to raise the profile of Circus-Theatre in a region where this is currently an under-developed Artform, and inspire people to utilise these skills in their own work.
At the end of July I worked as Assistant Director for Nottingham Playhouse on their Intermediate Summer School. We worked with a group of 18 Young People to create a devised promenade performance based on the current exhibiting artists at Nottingham Contemporary, Alfred Kubin and Francis Uprtichard.
The two Artists are very different in their styles, and although at first glance their work may seem difficult to access and adult in its themes, the group worked brilliantly together to create an engaging performance set in an Art Gallery and performed to an invited audience at the Playhouse.
Most recently I have just finished co-directing a 3 day Circus summer school for students at NUSA in Nottingham, which culminated in a short performance back at Lakeside, where we were able to rig silks and a trapeze, upon which they performed after just a morning's tuition! I worked with lovely Ria Ashcroft on this, and we were delighted and exhausted by the endless enthusiasm and energy of these Young People. The changes we saw in their confidence levels and ability in just three short days were really wonderful, and we hope to foster longer term connections between ourselves, Lakeside and NUSA, to help further the development of circus in the region.
Tomorrow I'm back down to Bristol for rehearsals of a secret project which is in development for the end of September. More details coming soon - watch this space!
And next week, a short holiday in Cornwall. I think I deserve it...