Circus 250 at Tate Modern


On June 7th I was delighted to give a short address on the topic of ‘Why I Love Circus’ to the Circus 250 group meeting at Tate Modern, alongside guest speakers Sir Philip Luff, Circomedia’s Nicolas Young, and Director of Zippo’s Circus Martin Burton.

The day was filled with networking, planning, discussion, and championing circus in the UK. I met many interesting people from across the industry and was very privileged to be able to share my views on the value of Circus as an artform. Thank you to Dea Birkett for inviting me to participate.

For those of you who are interested this is an outline of my address:

I came to circus as a performer looking for a medium. The world of cabaret and Live Art that I had been immersed in for many years had begun to feel claustrophobic, and I was looking for tools to make different work and reach new audiences. I wanted to feel legitimate as an artist, but to retain my ‘outsider’ edge; comedy felt too literal, theatre too conventional, and dance too abstracted. Then I discovered contemporary circus, and thus began my long and tumultuous journey that has taken me to where I am now, about to graduate with a BA degree from the National Centre for Circus Arts. 

In this fractured and divided world circus allows us to share the one thing we all still have in common, the experience of inhabiting a human body. Circus allows audiences to vicariously experience what it’s like to transgress gravity, to hold and support another person – to literally trust them with your life. Circus can explore the tension between the human body’s astonishing potential and its devastating vulnerability, allowing audiences to tantalise over the catastrophic risks. 

I love circus because it occupies an amazing liminal space. It is simultaneously legitimate and transgressive, human and superhuman, traditional and current, established and innovative. I feel very lucky to be graduating at such an exciting time for circus, when there is an explosion of creativity, innovation and exposure, and I look forward to what the future holds. 



More information about Circus 250 can be found here: