To Circus Makers: an Anglo French Project

Dear circus artists, producers, technicians, educators, thinkers, doers….

We need your help please.

Theatre Bristol is a partner (albeit a junior partner) on a European project, catchily called PASS. We’re involved because Bristol is home to many of the best people in the field in the UK. We have a great starting point but let’s be ambitious. What do we all need to be world-class? A key interest for us and for the lead partners (both in France and England) is professional development. We have an opportunity to co-design some opportunities for those working in circus in Bristol. You need to shout about what you need (and don’t need).

El Circo

With this (shouting about what you need) in mind, we have asked Lina B Frank to do a bit of research and to shine a light on the great work happening in the city. We don’t want to miss anything/anyone. Lina works for Bristol Ferment at Bristol Old Vic but this small piece of freelance work is for us. She will be out and about talking to people and asking lots of questions. We’d be very grateful if you could whizz through this questionnaire so that the data is captured and if you have time  – please also talk to Lina. You can contact her on [email protected]  We can then use Lina’s findings as a basis for clarifying how the PASS project can best serve your needs.

The plan is to then be inspired by the French and to bring in the other partners and see what we can achieve. We have until March 2015. We’ll be working with Activate in Dorseton this project as they are one of the lead partners in the UK. Dorset is the priority region but that’s not that far away. We’ll just have to factor in travel.

The next step is to think more widely. We’re keen to work on appropriate contexts and networks for touring circus work in and out of Bristol and to identify the infrastruture needs/gaps/opportunities for making and presenting circus work in Bristol. We want to know if we can (and should) help grow more producers with the passion and instinct to work in circus and we’d like to bring together other art form specialists to contribute to the critical debate regarding the definition of ‘new circus’.

Overall context:

The PASS Project is a 3-year European funded project which aims to develop partnership networks between French and UK partners to extend production, touring, training and outreach actions in circus (in particular ‘new circus’).  

The lead partner in France is La Breche. The 4 lead UK partners are: Activate (Dorset)Lighthouse (Poole), Farnham Maltings, SeaChange Arts (Great Yarmouth). There are a series of second tier associate UK partners who are: Crying Out Loud, Norfolk and Norwich festival, ArtsReach,  and us.

I really hope you have time to talk to or email Lina and to fill in the questionnaire (we’ll share the results back with you all). Here is the link again. Please send it to anyone you think might be interested.

On another point …. if you would like some support for your work, please contact our Producer for Artist Support Simon Day on [email protected] and if you would like to talk about the sector more generally, please contact me on [email protected]

Big thank you,

Katie Keeler
Executive Producer
Theatre Bristol

Picture: El Circo Locuratodo