Bid to see Yarmouth crowned street arts and circus capital of the UK revealed ahead of Out There Festival 2017

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Children learning the tricks of the circus trade have been putting the final touches to a performance set to be staged at next month's Out There festival in Great Yarmouth.

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Enjoying top billing alongside a host of exciting international acts the youngsters at Drillaz Circus School, at the Drill House, in York Road, have been perfecting the art of juggling, diablo, and trapeze.

Putting them through their paces are resident tutors from Dizzy O'Dare as well as members of Colectivo en Breve, who hail from Mexico.

Darren Cross, communications director at Seachange Arts, said that developing the next generation of artists was part of a wider ambition to see Great Yarmouth as the street arts and circus capital of the UK.

'This place, the Drill House, is very much the engine room of the festival so we are not importing all the work,' he said.

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017


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'We pitch Out There as being a big international festival with worldwide stars.

'But it is also about community participation and offering the youngsters a platform to perform.'

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Siobhan Johnson, community programme co-ordinator, added: 'A big part of circus in general is about self discipline, respecting other people and the kit. You have to be incredibly fit and strong. If you want to be able to get up on the trapeze you have to be able to hold yourself.

'And they form such close bonds because you have to have a high level of trust in each other. They say it is like a second family.'

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The hour and a half session saw some 15 children aged eight to 11 juggle, tumble and fly with a senior class of 12 to 18 year olds due to take their turn in the afternoon.

Scarlett Pozycka, 11, said she was really excited to be performing the show In Dreams on Festival Sunday, September 17.

She said being involved in the school had been 'really exciting'. She added that the hard work always paid off with the thrill of performing live and knowing everyone was there for each other if they went wrong.

Emily Allard, of Southtown, said all five of her children spanning a six-year-old to a 14-year-old loved the circus school, with the younger ones desperate to join as soon as they were old enough. 'They all really love coming,' she said.

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Circus skills workshop at the Drill House, Great Yarmouth. Imogen Marjoram. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

To find out more visit the website here.The Out There Festival is on September 16 and 17.

So how easy is it? Reporter Liz Coates steps into the ring

A simple hoop is suspended from the ceiling.

For talented acrobats it is a basic prop and enough to display their strength, flexibility and mind-boggling stamina.

For me it was a challenge to even get up there.

After a few awkward attempts, and despite encouragement from the floor and consolatory cries of 'nearly', it had to be lowered so I could heave myself up.

The shame.

Then while perched precariously they wanted me to try plate-spinning at the same time - a multi-task too far - which saw help summoned from the sidelines to keep them whirling.

However I redeemed myself with the hula-hooping.

Some 35 years since I last picked one up my childhood muscle-memory kicked in, and I was away.

With one foot forward I was able to keep the thing going for maybe even 30 seconds.

It was a triumph, of sorts.

Overall however I think I'll stick to juggling emails and deadlines in the relative safety of the circus of news.

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