Ade Berry on JLat40 and Meta

Tue 17 Nov 1PM

At a Jacksons Lane team meeting at the beginning of the year, we sat and talked about what we might want to do for our 40th birthday in 2015. We thought about a new website, some flashy lights outside the building, even some new hi-tech equipment. New seats? A gigantic party? But ultimately we decided the best thing we could do to celebrate would be to commission some new circus. So that’s exactly what we did.

Jacksons Lane has had 40 years of being one of the most ground-breaking, innovative venues in the country. Way before my time it led the way in inclusive arts, then experimental theatre. For a while it was a flagship for contemporary dance. At some point in the 90s it dipped its toes into circus, so it’s with this in mind that now, as the UK’s leading venue for contemporary circus, we commissioned two brand new pieces of work. The first was Throwback from our new young associate artists Silver Lining, which ran for two weeks over the summer, playing to packed houses and receiving rave reviews. But our second commission is an altogether different, enticing and exciting proposal.

Back in the aforementioned 90s period, The Gandinis tried out some unfinished experimental pieces with choreographer Gill Clarke that were performed at Jacksons Lane. For this commission they revisit those pieces with a show which is about itself: an elliptical reflection on their journey through entertainment. Having seen sneak previews in development, I can tell you that minds will be ever-so-slightly blown.

Revisiting the ballet collaboration seen in last year’s 4 x 4 Ephemeral Structures, our new commission from Gandini Juggling - META - is a fusion of live art, circus, comedy, nudity, and gorgeous, fluid choreography. In short, you’ve never seen anything like it. And because this is a one-off commission, it will never be seen again - like some of the best art, it will be destroyed as quickly as it was created. You’ll be able to tell your children you saw META.

If this sounds a somewhat grandiose statement that I’m making, it’s because it’s from the words of an unashamed fan (a “Fandini”, to quote critic Donald Hutera!). The Gandinis, like Jacksons Lane, continue to innovate and break the mould. Somebody asked me what it was like to have them in my theatre. I said it’s a bit like getting Bowie to play a gig in your front room.

It’s a very limited run with a very limited capacity, with a final gala night where we get to also throw that all-important party. We hope you can join us to celebrate our 40th birthday with one of the cultural highlights of the year.


META opens this Saturday 21 Nov and runs until Tuesday 24 Nov. Find out more here.

Add your comment

  • (This question prevents spam programs from automatically submitting this form)

By submitting this form you are agreeing that Jacksons Lane may publish your comment on this website. Your information will be stored in accordance with our data protection policy