Q&A with the company behind Midnight Circus
Fri 6 Jun 2PM
Tell us more about AC, who are you?
Aircraft Circus is a group of 20 artists who have grown together over the past five years and are based at the Hangar Arts Trust in Woolwich. The Hangar is our home, our circus school and our place of creation. Most of our cast double up for other roles, just like in traditional circus! We work hard, we’re unfunded and circus is our life. We have four directors and when creating shows we work under the artistic direction of Alex Frith and Lucy Francis. Moira Campbell is an aerialist and choreographer and writes the storylines for the shows as well as leading on our marketing. Nik Litton and Alex devise the technical and rigging solutions. Dave Kemp creates our musical score as a mix of pre-recorded sounds and live music, including his inimitable Eigen harp playing. Dave is also Moiras' right hand man for the marketing of shows. Our lighting designer is Charlie Hain. He works with Alex to develop the needs and look of the show. Lucy and Alex look at the various acts and assist the process and choreograph sections of the show. Lucy works on details, Alex works on the overview and blocking. The four directors help create a flowing and intricate show with tight timings and creative magic!
The core team of artists are a committed group of multi-disciplinary performers from ages 18-50 whose backgrounds range from theatre, dance and gymnastics to sideshow and circus. What brings them together is passion. Fire eater and aerialist Kat Lilwall creates our beautiful costumes. Acrobat, aerialist and fire artist Andromeda creates unique designs for makeup for every character in the show.
So basically, there are a lot of us and everyone plays a vital role in creating the shows!
How does this new, re-boot differ from the last time you performed Midnight Circus?
The show is more colourful, more interactive, shinier and more joyful. The beauty of performing at Jacksons Lane is that we are able to use the space to our full advantage. All of the characters and the show as a whole is evolving continuously. We have developed a new doubles trapeze act and the doubles silks is taking on an unusual twist. A contortionist hand balancing act has been added and the world in which these characters inhabit has completely transformed since the last run. The signature group acrobatics has been ramped up with new disciplines. In short, it’s going to be our best show – EVER!
What will the promenade element of the show be?
Audience members will be free to move around the space to get near to the action. It’s an intimate performance with the audience experiencing everything above, around and sometimes with the performers! Apart from one central walkway for the performers, the whole space will be promenade so audience members will be fully immersed in the show. Jacksons Lane have never done anything quite like this before so we’re all really excited to bring it to life.
And what’s next for you guys?
AirCraft Circus has a busy year! After Jacksons Lane we are off to Wilderness Festival to take over the Valley area each evening… and we’re doing an awesome outdoor version of Midnight Circus there too. At the end of August our new fulltime Foundation and Level 2 students arrive for 16 weeks of daily circus tuition. Then in winter we’re performing Damaged Goods at our home at the Hangar Arts Trust followed by curating and producing the Greenwich Circus Festival. The GCF is in its fourth year and is a feast of all things circus. It showcases every strata of our school from adult evening students, youth circus, foundation students, level 2 students, professionals, and teachers. And more! So much more. PHEW!