Circus performances for 2015

Trying to work out how best to update last year’s works, I thought perhaps it would be easiest to split up the posts according to different skills, so this post mostly contains information about circus performances of 2015.

Xmas contract videos 2015

In my last post I spoke about my recent Xmas contract for Best Parties Ever, where we performed for 12 nights at a Monte Carlo-themed event. We were contracted by Impact Artists, and I performed with my friend and colleague Maddie McGowan who has worked with me on this gig for the past three years now. This year we created two new synchronised acts- on aerial hoop and silks. I also performed my sling act on a winch, and Maddie performed a solo corde lisse act, also on the winch. It was fun to learn how to work the winch- both as the artist, and as the controller. Adding the flying element to an act makes it so exciting!

Yesterday I edited the three acts that I performed in. I will hopefully get a chance to add Maddie’s rope act soon- I really enjoyed watching it every night, performed to The Rolling Stones’ tune Gimme Shelter, and she wore a costume that I made for Impact Artists a couple of years ago. Meanwhile, here are the first three acts:

“Maniac” aerial hoop duet:

“Formula 1” winch sling act:

“Bond Girls” aerial silks duet:

Easter circus performances

The White Rabbit made an appearance in London for Easter at The Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane. I was contracted to entertain the guests over Easter lunch. It was a funny old day. Having been booked to perform on roller skates and bouncy stilts, I thought I had better take a back up idea just in case roller-skating or stilt-walking through the dinner tables wasn’t a good idea. My lovely talented balloon-modelling friend Tess Cartwright suggested she teach me how to make White Rabbit’s out of balloons. Thankfully I took her up on this offer, as when I arrived, the room I was to perform in was carpeted (no roller skating then!) and the roof was very low (that ruled out the stilts!!).

I got some really fantastic feedback from the client at this event, but for the life of me I cannot find it! Ha! Needless to say, they were really happy with my performance and the fact that I was prepared for everything.

A circus high-wire wedding!

My lovely friends Chris and Phoebe known as The Bullzini Family, tight-wire specialists, did a stunning show for us all in Portland Square, Bristol, back in March of last year. They built a special rig, and I wanted to share some stunning photos I took of their show:

Chris and Phoebe decided to tie the knot last year, and they performed this show-of-all-shows 40 metres up on a tight-wire!!! They are officially the UK’s first couple to EVER get married on a tight-wire, and we were lucky enough to be there. I performed a special bespoke aerial silks act in the circus cabaret after the meal- hard work straight after eating but lots of fun, and I also DJ’d the last set of the party! Here are some photos from the wedding:

White Rabbit walkabout

Another fun little gig I did as The White Rabbit last year was for Circus Malabaristas. They wanted a Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit to go to a Thomas Cook staff weekend party at Totworth Court. Their theme, of course, was a Mad Hatter’s tea party, and I suggested Doug Francis from The Invisible Circus as the Mad Hatter. We had a great time! We were asked to arrive and be ready in full make up by 9am for when the guests arrived. At this time of the morning, we were the only ones in costume, and were asked to pose for numerous photos with the staff for about an hour or so. We were needed back again in the evening, and as it was not so far from home we returned to Bristol for a few hours. When we arrived back in the evening, EVERYONE was dressed to the nine’s. There were some absolutely fabulous costumes. Pretty soon we realised that the only reason we had been asked to come back was to enjoy the night and have dinner and drinks with the guests. We had so much fun that we actually stayed a few hours later than we were booked for! Best gig ever!

Acro-balance harlequin show

I was asked to present a little acro-balance show at the Epale launch party in April of 2015, and as my previous acro partner Chez was away in India, I had to find another flier. I asked one of my students, a ballet dancer called Jude Whitburn, to perform with me. She had never done any acro before, so we spent about 6 weeks training up the act. We performed it as harlequin/ Pierrot clowns. The event was quite strange as we were doing the presentation in a corporate-style meeting at 10:30am in Birmingham, so it was a very early start for us what with having to drive up from Bristol. We performed and then straight after the show I had to present a little speech about using circus for social change- quite challenging when you are slightly breathless and desperate for water! Here we are getting ready for the show, and a picture of us taken during the performance:

We got some lovely feedback from the show, too:

“Dear Rada, Thank you so much for performing at our EPALE UK Launch Conference yesterday. Your act and presentation were really well received and set the tone for the day, with delegates tweeting about it. The launch has received very positive feedback and we are grateful for your invaluable help in its success. We hope that you enjoyed the opportunity to perform. We hope you will be an ambassador for EPALE in future, and support us with the wider dissemination of the platform to potential users. Many thanks again for dedicating your time and helping to make the event a success. Best wishes, Ashfa and Karen.”

Always so lovely to receive great feedback! And thanks Jude Whitburn for all your hard work in learning a new skill!

On the subject of lovely feedback, I just received this lovely email from Lucy Walker who booked The White Rabbit to appear at her wedding last November (I spoke about that in the previous post):

“Thank you so much for making our wedding day that extra bit fun and quirky. The guests loved you, even when you revealed a spoon up your nose!!! Thank you xxxx”- Lucy Walker

Decadent walkabouts

I was asked to work for Decadent Times at the Hertford Ball in Oxford last May. It really was a Decadent affair. The sailor girl and my decadent lady (aptly named ;)) got to come out to play. Great night had by all:

A week after this I sent a stilt-walking Absinthe fairy (the lovely Emily Redsell) up to Oxford to perform at The Oxford Town Hall, again for Decadent Times. I was unfortunately unwell that night so could not attend myself.

I performed aerial hoop, my sailor girl act, for Chris Tofu from Continental Drifts at Komedia in Bath for their White Mink Black Cotton event. Here is a link to an article advertising the event. I just received some footage of my act, so I will do a little edit of the show very soon. It was a great gig, the Komedia rigging point is so high and the venue is stunning! Here is how they billed me:

“★ MISS RADIDA – Bristol’s finest Aerial Hoop artist will be delivering an aerial performance of extreme elegance and talent whilst hanging perilously from the roof…”

It’s funny how characters come and go, then come back around. April/ May 2015 certainly was a busy time for the sailor girls, who made yet another appearance barely two weeks later for Impact Artists on the Grand Pier in Weston-Super-Mare, for a Crest Nicholson charity event. I performed a walkabout act with Claire Downie, and we had a lovely time.

The White Rabbit strikes again

The weekend after that took me off to the Shindig Weekender to perform my White Rabbit stage show for Interstellar Circus, thanks to Ms Merlin for the booking. Here is my act:

And here is an edit of the whole show. You can see Loz Because (hula hooping) in a peach-coloured 1920s costume that I designed and made for her a while back, and me as The White Rabbit amongst many of our very talented friends:

Glastonbury Festival 2015

I was asked to do a voice over as an evil Australian coal mandate evicting an eel out of his house, namely a coral reef in the ocean, to be used in an installation in the Greenpeace field at Glastonbury Festival. You can read about this project by following this link. Here I quote an extract from Tabitha’s page about the project, which is really good news for our environment:

“The fish housed the Coral Garden, a collaboration with Snow Business who made the coral, and Hellicar and Lewis who developed the interactive elements. When you don a headset and take a seat in amongst the coral, the reef starts to glow and pulse in the UV lights, and a story starts in your ears about an eel being evicted to make way for coal ships.

A record number of signatures were collected for the ‘Save the Reef’ petition, and we were blessed by a very special visitor: His Holiness the Dalai Lama came for lunch in the Greenpeace Cafe and walked through the tuna fish to experience the beauty of the coral. The campaign seems to have worked: Standard Charter, the last bank who was willing to fund the clearing of a channel through the Great Barrier Reef, has pulled out, meaning the reef has been saved, for now.”

Off I went to Glastonbury myself, and had a jolly old time mostly DJing all week, as mentioned in my previous post, though the White Rabbit stage show did make an appearance on Thursday night in the most apt of venues- the famous Rabbit Hole, thanks to our lovely friend Kirsty who booked Ms Merlin and I last-minute for her cabaret. My act was, unfortunately, a bit of a shambles thanks to the DJ having had a few too many, shall we say, prior to the show. He stopped my music midway-through the act and couldn’t work out how to fix it. I then improvised for a while getting more and more ridiculous until he started the music again FROM THE BEGINNING. Needless to say, the act being choreographed exactly to the music, that things didn’t really go to plan. But hey, that’s showbiz! The good, the bad, and the, well, ugly…. ha! I then had to take all the white make up off my face and get glammed up for my DJ gig across site (about a 45 minute walk/ jog via my campsite to change kit) in The Cave in The Common- arriving a mere 10 minutes before I had to start!

My friend Steve Bedlam who booked me for this gig is currently in Calais. He and his team have set up the refugee kitchen, serving approximately 2000 meals a day voluntarily with a continual flow of helpers. They are in constant need of money for food and equipment and also people to go out there and help. Please visit this link for directions on how you can help this incredible group of people. 

A week after Glastonbury my now 16 year old daughter went off to India to work in a school teaching English for two weeks followed by a two week vacation in Goa with her Dad. If you are interested in reading about her travels, follow this link. She went to India and I went home to Australia for a month, but I will talk more about this later as this post is about performance and is already getting quite long.

DJing and other circus performances

The weekend after I returned from Oz, I DJ’d at Boomtown Fair (more about that later, too), and two weeks after that I performed Spanish Web on a twisted ankle at Shambala Festival in The Social Club Cabaret, thanks Annabelle Holland for the gig. That’s right, I twisted my ankle two days before Boomtown during my first aerial training session back after my holiday. As they say, the show must go on, so I pushed through some fairly painful rehearsals hanging by my twisted ankle to teach my friend and fellow aerialist Parkey how to web sit for me. This was another Bond Girls show, and again we used the Propellerheads track “On her majesty’s secret service”. We wore the original Bond Girl costumes I made for Janette and I back in Australia for our first ever aerial duet performance over 10 years ago. I still have them! The only photo I have of the act is not great, but here it is anyway (and before you ask, I can’t seem to find the footage that this screen-shot was grabbed from anywhere! That’ll teach me to update my news once a year only!):

A week after Shambala (such a stunning festival, one of my favourites every year!), the Arcadia spider landed in the CENTRE OF BRISTOL!!! What a spectacle! Such a joy to see the reactions on people’s faces who had never seen it before. And so brilliant to watch all of my lovely friends flying about on it, in the Metamorphosis show. So very proud of all involved in that massive project, a huge achievement. Some pics I took there:

In October, Bristol Circus City Festival hit town. Coordinated by two very talented friends of mine, Kate Hartoch and Lina B. Frank, the festival brings international circus acts to Bristol for a whole month of wonderful shows. The Invisible Circus held The Kabaret Klub each week during the month, and I performed my Bond Girls Spanish Web act again, this time with another good friend of mine Helina Griffiths spinning me. We performed this act twice during the run, the second time to raise money and awareness for the refugee crisis in Europe. Here are a few pictures of us backstage before the shows:

Another group of my very talented friends designed and built an incredible flying machine called The Marie Celestial and put a show together which was performed on the ship. I went along to see their final show. Such a magnificent-looking creation, follow the above link to their website to check it out!

Around this time, I also went to see Banksy‘s show Dismaland in Weston-Super-Mare with my daughter and wonderful friends Cas Carpenter and Buc from the incredible Engineers of Desire label. A brilliant piece of political satire, and a lot of my friends were working on the installation of the project as well as the day-to-day running of things. The link to their website now shows what they did with the exhibition once they pulled it all down- sent it to Calais to build shelters for refugees-in-need, aptly named DismalAid. Here are some photos I took of the exhibition:

I went to Greece in October for a week to create a show with a social message about migration, but it is a detailed story not to be shortened, so I think I will give it it’s own post.

My daughter performed for Cirque Bijou for the turning on of the Xmas lights at Cabot Circus in Bristol last year. She and some of her dance group Kinesis performed with the glowing umbrellas in the show. My friend Jake also walked a high-wire high above the audience in the centre of the shopping mall. Here are some photos of them, albeit not the best photos I’m afraid:

And the last thing I will leave you with is a vision of me dressed as a roller-skating robin red-breast for a Xmas gig in a shopping centre with Tsubi Du, for Circus Malabaristas. Hope you had a good one folks, I had ALL THE FUN ;):

Posted on 19th January 2016