Stumble danceCircus


Stumble’s sequel to Box of Frogs (2012) which presented a manifestation of Bipolar Disorder

For Can of Worms we will create 4 or 5 characters who can perform individually and as an ensemble, inspired by mental health responses to Climate Change. The focus is on investigating how Climate Change is affecting how we feel and how that is making us behave.


This character is longing for something that he has lost, based on the phenomenon of Solastalgia (Feeling homesick when you are still at home.  Defined in order to express the emotions of those whose local environment has been devastated and is no longer what it was).  Working with Clown and Juggler Charles Brockbank, we started creating a first character (funded in this first moment by the Stumble Crowdfunder last year).

We will look to the displaced people on our streets who display eccentricities, possibly demonstrating a sense of loss. To my mind public displays of madness are starting to look more like sanity.  Stumble aim to explore Mental Health as it is affected by our fears for the future,  in general our experiences of empathy and our understanding of what behaviour is appropriate and acceptable in society and how this may be at odds with reality.  A particular interest is how this coincides with the business of pharmaceuticals.

Trying to create a strong and stable seat with sellotape.

Inspired by Waiting for Godot.  Inspired by current events.  Inspired by trying to make work about issues that people find frightening.  Stumble are looking for support for this new project.

sketch for COW

see Tshirt conversations for ways to support

or Heroes and Things to Do for ways to get involved

I am hanging by my fingernails to the crumbling flinty edge of a cliff. It is a true cliffhanger.  An ellipsis.  I am displaying signs of distress, but quietly, in a way that would be noticeable only to the trained eye.  To others I would appear calm and collected, possibly even serene.  Beneath me are jagged rocks and dark waters, ebbing and flowing, threatening.  I could fall to a certain death, or I could be fine, there is no way of being absolutely certain.  There is no proof that I will die when I fall.  There is no proof that I will fall. There is only the probability, no the possibility. The odds shift as I consider the physics, the science, the logic.  I can see that I could change the parameters of my suspension.  I could swing my legs over to my left and hoik myself up onto the ledge that is just within reach, or possibly just out of reach.  I have no assurances that the ledge will hold me, that I will be able to reach it, that I will be able to transfer my weight successfully.  My grip is weakening, my arms are straining and my ribs are stretching out to their extremity.  I feel a little embarrassed.  Perhaps even a little bored.  I do not know what to do.

I will wait.

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  • julie west July 7, 2016, 8:52 am

    I went to see Box of Frogs 3 times i.cluding a ‘wwork in progress’, its was amazing and impressive on many levels – as a circus lover, a therapist working with emotional distress and as a friend to two people who have bi-polar. The work was amusing, clever, explicit, complex, thought provoking, engaging – I remember so much about the individual elements but specifically recall being engrossed and when the Ring Master kept saying “Haha” I was so with him I called it back. I too was immersed.

    I am extremely happy to contribute to Can of Worms and look forward to seeing its progression. Wishing you all the best with it, difficult issues and our very personal responses to this need to b aired. And aired in such a way, as with Box of Frogs, that we discover more about the ‘issue’ and ourselves. Fantastic company, pulling together amazing performers with fabulous circus skills to give a meaningful message of greater awareness.