I have freelanced for No Fit State Circus as Circus Director/ Facilitator, on three shows: Tabu, Parklife and Barricade. It was working alongside the Director Orit Azaz that I learnt a supreme amount about, well… directing circus.
Parklife was the most extraordinary experience. The premise was that the circus would rock up to an urban park, set up camp and invite in a variety of willing community groups to share their interests and skills. At the end of the week we would have created a show using professional performers, apprentices, volunteers, community members. It was exhausting, exhilarating, terrifying and brilliant. Each day you would meet a diverse multitude of eccentrics.
Barricade was a show that emerged from that experience. Orit and I had surreal times running community workshops in France (who truly do not have a culture of community arts projects) with huge groups of children in sports halls and hundreds of car tyres, in French. One fantastic memory is the opening night in Bethune, where we were resident in their town square for weeks. The run up to the outdoor show involved locals turning up with car tyres and performing a whole variety of tyre-led choreographies, tricks and balances. It was like a Car Tyre Festival. It felt like it should become an annual event, especially for Bethune. Barricade was a whirlwind of creation and set development in which we made a huge show in a tiny amount of time.