2015 has been a massive year for The Circus House. We’ve seen unprecedented numbers of people come through our doors, some coming from as far as South America or Australia. Working with these travelling talents has allowed us to develop our own knowledge and skills, as well as host masterclasses for our members. Earlier on in the year C!RCA had us walking along each other’s shoulders and standing on each other’s heads!
We've also done a little travelling ourselves. The Arts Council helped send our director, Sian, on an expedition to Buenos Aires with her partner Mike. After undergoing an intensive six week crash-course in Chinese pole they brought the know-how back to Longsight so that The Circus House could offer the first Chinese pole lessons in Manchester. The first run of classes, which is suitable for all levels, has just come to an end and will pick up again in the new year.
In news a little closer to the ground, we also launched our first tumbling course. Following Owen's completion of an extensive training course in tumbling, The Circus House invested in an air track. The air track allows our members to get the benefit of a spring loaded floor, allowing for higher jumps and softer landings while learning to tumble. The first set of sessions was incredibly popular, and will return after the holiday on Mondays in the 7.30 - 9pm slot, in rotation with Chinese Pole, Aerial Hoop, Manipulation, and Alex’ Equilibristics class. If you’re curious about learning traditional circus skills like unicycling, tightrope walking and stilt walking, Alex’ equilibristics course tackles a different skill each week. Lessons are suitable for all levels and dates will be published in the new year.
As well as our new classes, 2015 was also the year The Circus House was invited back to Z-Arts in Hulme. A community of staff, volunteers and members came together to create an original show, Boxed, which we performed for two nights following our sold-out performance last year. The show was well-attended, well-received, and was a fantastic experience for all involved. Check out the photos above.
Shortly after the first shows, Boxed was adapted into an outdoor performance. The organisers of Manchester Day flew in director Patrick Nolan to help The Circus House achieve this. As well as adapting the original show, Patrick directed an additional segment to be performed exclusively for Manchester Day.
The combination of Patrick’s insightful direction with vibrant set pieces and costumes from Sophie Tyrrell allowed us to deliver one of our best performances yet. Albert Square was visibly transformed in the run up to each show by crowds of spectators being rounded up into giant games of pass the parcel by unicyclists, stilt walkers and volunteers sporting backpack structures so tall they had to be seen to be believed. The three segments of Boxed attracted some of the biggest crowds we’d ever performed in front of, and it was an honour.
Photos by Kirsty Ann Photography
On a more solemn note, we lost a treasured member of staff this year. Jake Williams was an inspiring performer and a dear friend to many. He will be sorely missed, but his dedication and love for life and circus will not be forgotten.
It has been amazing to be involved with so many fantastic events and wonderful people this year. We’re impressed with the way the community has grown, and with the imminent arrival of our new aerial rig we’re looking forward to what The Circus House will look like in 2016.
The Circus House is closed for the Christmas holidays from December 18th and will reopen in January.
Aerial Classes will resume on the 11th.
For details of our new classes and masterclasses, sign up to our newsletter.
Thank-you, again, all of you.
- The Circus House -