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Cart before the horse


The picture of the horse tethered to the cart the wrong way round was found online. It was mostly the look on the horse’s face that got me started. It makes me smile everytime I look at it.

I wanted to make a cart that would utilise trick cycling, to allow for circus vocabulary to get involved, that would be initiated from this kind of standoff.  Obviously I really wanted to do the piece with a horse but the budget afforded us only humans…


The project was commissioned to be part of celebrations that surrounded Grand Depart and the Yorkshire Festival in June 2014.

Towards the end of the piece the horse unfetters himself from the cart.  We then let loose with an unashamed circus finale where the performers were able to achieve actual tricks.  So much of what is truly difficult to realise on new bespoke props and devices, looks easy.  Audiences are frequently more impressed by what they can recognise as skilful, within more traditional frameworks, on recognisable circus props.  Often, challenging use of design and structures leads to choreographic enquiry more akin to dance.  I love to mix it up.

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