Norwich Castle was been spectacularly lit this week to launch the year-long celebration of the first ever circus performances.

The Circus250 logo was beamed onto the medieval castle, a prominent feature of the city skyline, to mark the 250th anniversary of showman, equestrian and entrepreneur Philip Astley drawing out a ring on the south bank of the River Thames in London. He filled it with astonishing acts including tumblers, horses, acrobats, jugglers and clowns on January 9, 1768 to stage the first ever modern circus show.

Every circus, anywhere in the world, has its roots in that moment.

The side of Norwich Castle was lit up with a Sir Peter Blake Circus250 logo from 4pm to 10pm as the city joined Blackpool, Derry, Great Yarmouth, Bristol and Newcastle-under-Lyme in celebration of the event.

In London Circus250 was launched at The Creative Industries Federation’s anniversary event with a performance by 19 year old Natasha Rushbrooke of Norwich’s Lost in Translation Circus.

Norwich is one of the six UK ‘Cities of Circus’ and will present a series of high profile events as part of the July Lord Mayor’s Celebration, including a circus-themed parade with life-sized elephant puppets winding through the streets and Lost in Translation’s Big Top circus festival in Chapelfield Gardens.

Circus250 is the organisation that created and is organising the nationwide celebrations of this most pervasive, popular, born-in-Britain art form

Circus250 director, Dea Birkett, said: ‘We’re so pleased to have Norwich as one of the six Cities of Circus. The city has a long tradition of circus. PT Barnum used to parade his elephants in Norwich and it’s currently home to the internationally renowned Lost in Translation Circus as well as The Oak Circus Centre.’

The city is also the birthplace of famous 19th century black circus proprietor Pablo Fanque, mentioned prominently in the song ‘For the Benefit of Mr Kite’ by The Beatles on their Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Circus250 logo seen from City Hall balcony

Each City of Circus will stage themed events in celebration of the anniversary. In Norwich there will be a series of high profile events as part of the July Lord Mayor’s Celebration, including a circus-themed parade with life-sized elephant puppets winding through the streets and Lost in Translation Circus’s Big Top international circus festival in Chapelfield Gardens.

Massimiliano Rossetti Co-Director of Lost in Translation Circus and The Oak Circus Centre in Norwich said ‘ We are all so pleased that Norwich and Great Yarmouth have been chosen as one of the UK Cities of Circus for 2018. We are looking forward to working with all the partners to provide some brilliant events that will really put the city on the international circus map. From our Norwich base LiT have travelled the world to perform and now we’re bringing the circus world to the city.’

See our earlier article here: http://norwicheye.co.uk/news/norwich-circus-star-to-thrill-vip-london-audience/

Norwich Eye recently had the privilege of enjoying a lively and gravity defying show at the Oak street Circus Centre which is home to Lost in Translation Circus. The regular members of the group were joined by enthusiastic young trainees in a packed Christmas show at the centre in the former St Mary Coslany Church in Oak Street.

Daring exploits from Lost In Translation Circus – all photos ©The Eye Snapper

 

The centre is housed in the former St Mary at Coslany Church on Oak Street and offers display of circus skills that has to be seen to be believed and training for young people who want to develop their circus skills. This centre is yet another reason for Norwich to feel proud of the diverse cultural offer in the historic city.

 

Find out more about Circus 250 here:

www.circus250.com <http://www.circus250.com>