Norwich’s Chapelfield Gardens to host Circus250 celebrations
- Credit: Boncek Images 2015
The magic of the big top is set to take centre stage in Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens as the city park hosts a special festival as part of the Circus250 celebrations.
Norwich, along with Great Yarmouth, is one of the six Cities of Circus that will this year be the focus of the Circus250 festivities to mark the landmark anniversary for the art form.
The city's Lord Mayor's Celebration weekend in July will have a circus theme and, ahead of the Lord Mayor's Procession - which takes place on Saturday. July 7 - a herd of giant elephant puppets will parade through the streets from Gaol Hill to Chapelfield Gardens on Friday, July 6.
As they recreate the parades of circuses such as PT Barnum's from days gone by, the puppets will be accompanied by troupes of actors, jugglers and more.
The traditional annual festivities of the Lord Mayor's Celebration weekend will then also be extended with Chapelfield Gardens hosting circus shows from July 11 to 15.
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Norwich-based Lost in Translation circus company has programmed the Chapelfield Summer Circus line-up and selected an array of international shows all appearing in Norwich for the first time.
Lost in Translation will also be performing The Hogwallops, a show inspired by Roald Dahl's The Twits, which the city circus troupe has taken across the world.
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Helen Selleck, Norwich City Council's events and culture manager, said: 'Chapelfield Summer Circus promises to be a real treat for the city, and will keep the feel good factor from our Lord Mayor's Celebration going for even longer.
'We are delighted to have been one of the few cities selected to celebrate Circus250, and very pleased to be working with Lost in Translation on this spectacular event.'
Massimiliano Rossetti, co-director of Lost in Translation Circus and The Oak Circus Centre, said: 'We are all so pleased that Norwich has been chosen as one of the UK Cities of Circus for 2018.
'We are looking forward to staging brilliant events that will really put the city on the international circus map. From our Norwich base we have travelled the world to perform and now we're bringing the circus world to the city.'
Chapelfield Summer Circus has been made possible with funding from Norwich City Council, Arts Council England, Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, Geoffrey Watling Charity, Anguish's Educational Foundation Trust, John Jarrold Trust, Goodman Trust, Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, Snelling Charitable Trust, Charles Littlewood Hill Trust and The Ranworth Trust.
CHAPELFIELD SUMMER CIRCUS EVENTS
• A special preview event will take place on Wednesday, July 11 with full details still to be announced.
• Fauna (July 12, 8pm) sees five international performers balance, tumble, jump and fly, transforming their bodies into spiders, lemurs and tree frogs to highlight the links between humans and animals.
• Lost in Translation's The Hogwallops (July 13, 7pm and July 14, 2.30pm) is inspired by Roald Dahl's The Twits and includes thrills, gasps, laughs and drama aplenty.
• Australian company Casus' show Knee Deep (July 14, 7pm) sees four performers explore the boundaries of strength and fragility with thrilling physical feats.
• Circus Cabaret Lates (July 13, 10pm and July 14, 10pm) features an array of acts from around the world.
• Outdoor circus fun (July 14, 11am-2pm and July 15, 11am-2.30pm) includes drop-in workshops and circus skills instruction for all ages.
• The Oak Circus Community Cabaret (July 15, 3pm) sees students perform circus tricks alongside professionals.
• Lost in Translation will also present a work in progress version of new touring show Famished, with date and time still to be announced.
Tickets go on sale from Saturday, April 21.
For more information and to book, visit www.norwichartscentre.co.uk, call 01603 660 352, or book in person at Norwich Arts Centre, in St Benedicts Street, Norwich.
250 YEARS OF CIRCUS
Circus250 is a year-long nationwide celebration of 250 years of circus.
In 1768 showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle on an abandoned patch of land near London's Waterloo and filled it with astounding physical acts. This spectacle was the world's very first circus.
Norwich's role in the Circus250 celebrations highlights the city's own circus heritage, including being the birthplace of Pablo Fanque, the first black British circus proprietor and whose circus was among the most popular in Victorian Britain. The city also hosted travelling circus companies including PT Barnum, and nowadays the city is home to the circus company Lost in Translation.
Norwich, together with Great Yarmouth which is home to the historic Hippodrome Circus, is one of the six Cities of Circus for the Circus250 anniversary celebrations alongside Bristol, Blackpool, Newcastle-under-Lyme, London and Belfast.