Five Ring Circus’ big festival disappointment
Matthew Moore

Member Article

Youth Circus’ big moment is a washout

A North East youth circus has been left disappointed after its appearance at the UK’s biggest youth arts festival was washed out by heavy rain.

Five Ring Circus, the North East’s fastest growing youth circus, was set to perform and deliver skills workshops at the Culture Shock Festival in Harrogate last month but festival organisers cancelled the event when the site became waterlogged.

Steve Cousins, of Five Ring Circus, said: “Of course we are extremely disappointed but we totally back the decision to cancel the event. The conditions onsite were dreadful. It was a giant mudbath.

Culture Shock does a fantastic job of putting on Britain’s biggest youth arts festival each year and it’s a shame for our young performers who were so looking forward to being part of it.“

More than 3000 young people were expected to attend the festival which has a “no-adults” policy unless they are accompanied by a young person.

The Five Ring Circus troupe were looking forward to teaching young people how to juggle, unicycle, walk a tightrope, spin plates and use a trapeze but were forced to stay at home instead.

The Culture Shock Festival appearance was one of several performances the troupe has scheduled as part of its role in the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.

The circus is made up of young peformers from Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Stockton and has grown rapidly in the last two years thanks to funding connected to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

They train at Christ Church in Shieldfield, a building threatened with closure, until the North East Circus Development Trust struck a deal to turn it into Circus Central and installed aerial rigs, trapeze and training mats.

Five Ring Circus was set up by the North East Circus Development Trust and is one of 15 projects funded by NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK regional programme for the North East creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.

Anna Spencer, project and information officer for NE-Generation, said: “Five Ring Circus is a really innovative project which has allowed young people in the North East to do something out of the ordinary by being part of a circus.

Thankfully, they have several dates scheduled for the rest of the summer and so fingers crossed, the rain holds off, and the public get to see their show.“

Five Ring Circus will be performing at some of the North East’s biggest outdoor events this summer including Stockton Riverside Festival and Durham’s Streets of…series of summer festivals.

The circus will also be taking over the rural village of Greenheads in Northumberland on July 29 for its ‘Duck Day.’ Five Ring Circus has described its event in the tiny Northumbrian village as the “cutest event in the Cultural Olympiad.”

Steve Cousins, said: “We are looking forward to Duck Day in Greenheads, we’ll be bringing street theatre, games, performances, workshops and the biggest small town duck race you’ve never seen. It should be great fun.”

For more information about where and when Five Ring Circus will appear, visit:

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matthew Moore .

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