2018 brings an important year for circus, as it marks the 250th anniversary since the inception of the art form itself. It was first introduced when Philip Astley, who is considered the creator of modern circus, first leapt into show business with his own ring near London’s Waterloo. Since then the genre has evolved into many forms, combining circus tricks with physical theatre and storytelling. To celebrate this remarkable anniversary, Worthing Theatres have announced the line-up for their third Summer of Circus season, where they will stage some of the world’s best circus companies at the Pavilion Theatre on Fri 18 May – Sun 1 July.
Amongst this, The Exploded Circus explores a narrative through the art of circus skills. The show begins as an explosion, which has been frozen in time, and what remains of the circus ring are hanging above the ground in a moment of anticipation. A world that these six women once knew is no more, with them having to rebuild a new one. It’s an allegory to delve into what we perceive as society, and how we might rebuild it were our world to collapse, in times where it can feel uncertain and unstable. Throughout, unusual and detailed props decorate the stage along with an intricate and effective use of music and sounds. These women use acrobatics, aerial work, juggling and other specialist skills to weave a physical, highly visual story told without words. A story in which concepts of a new ‘normal’ are toyed with as well as ideas of hope, belonging and change and finding a calm amongst chaos.
These performers are a collective with a mission to portray a positive image of women with their predominantly female-led team. This is something not often found within contemporary and traditional circus crews, and Mimbre are challenging this. The powerful team at Mimbre delve into the idea of building non-traditional audiences and participants, whilst creating unexpected moments in unusual spaces, creating an entirely wonderful and unique experience.
On the launch night for The Exploded Circus there will be a special pre-show appearance by Acrojou’s Jesters. These Jesters are an interactive, ‘mix and mingle’ walkabout act including power skips, acrobatic tumbling, ‘acro juggling’ and hula hoop as they entertain amongst the audience. During the show’s run, there will also be a chance to take part in circus workshops. There will be age group and ability specific classes, where participants can practice some acrobat balancing skills as well as learning some juggling techniques.
During the season there will also be other circus performances taking place at the Pavilion Theatre, including the troupes from Gandini Juggling presenting their latest show 8 Songs, Compania Vavel Circus with Garbuix, a blend of circus with dance with Block, The Giant Balloon Show and more. This season will be an opportunity to kindle a love for circus in which audiences can experience the true beauty and excitement of the art.
The Exploded Circus comes to Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Fri 18 – Sun 20 May