Wensum Junior School pupils at the Oak Circus Centre – photo supplied

Help People’s Choice Award winners put Norwich and Norfolk firmly on the UK circus map!

One of this year’s Norfolk Arts Awards People’s Choice Award winners have reached a significant milestone in their bid to raise funds for the region’s only dedicated circus skills centre – and they need your help to reach their target!
Lost in Translation Circus founded The Oak Circus Centre in central Norwich last year as a place to create their own shows (which go on to tour the world) and as a base to share their skills with others. In October they launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £10,600 to buy essential equipment to expand the range of activities available at the centre. With the deadline approaching the appeal has reached over 60% of the total they need.
The appeal has attracted the approval of Norwich City Council who have made a pledge via their Community Infrastructure Levy – but they have to reach the full target to unlock this contribution.
‘This is a huge milestone for our campaign’ said Lost In Translation Director Massimiliano Rossetti ‘We were overjoyed when Lost in Translation won the Award and the response from the public to the appeal shows the high regard that the people of Norfolk hold for the company and The Oak’.
‘If successful we’ll use the money to help us make The Oak Circus Centre the best equipped circus skills resource in the region. With our existing international network of fellow circus performers and companies we believe we can make it a hub for circus in the UK, where high quality classes and artist residencies create a true sense of circus community for Norwich and Norfolk. A space where people can learn the art of the circus either for fun or professional development.’
Co Director Annabel Carberry added ‘We provide education and development for all – with a high level of skill, enthusiasm and commitment! There are opportunities to participate in circus skills at a variety of levels, from absolute beginners to professionals. Some want to learn skills for their career ambitions, many others use the facilities as a fun activity for the children or as an enjoyable alternative to the gym. Now we need the space and its facilities to match the high quality we already provide. By adding kit such as aerial trapezes, mini trampolines and juggling and manipulation equipment we can expand the activities we offer. Also, being based in a beautiful old church has many advantages but we do need to add insulation to help keep it warm during the winter!’
Lots of those attending and taking their children have positive comments. ‘My 9 year old attended a course and had an absolutely amazing time’ said Norwich mum Kim Bennett ‘his first question when we left was to ask when can we go back’.
Tracey Gonzalez, also from Norwich said ‘My children love the youth circus, it’s the highlight of their week and the only thing the 15 year old has ever stuck at!’ ‘The Oak gives children who don’t fit the school definition of ‘sporty’ confidence and pride that they can achieve excellence’ said Lydia Kemp whose 6 year old daughter is a regular attender.
Riosa Hendry who attends the 11-15 Youth Circus cases said ‘All the teachers are so nice, I look forward to this every weekend, learning something new and exciting’.

There are a variety of rewards for those that pledge money including behind the scenes tours, invitations to exclusive rehearsal performances, training, corporate teambuilding sessions and circus skill parties for children or adults.
The deadline date for donations is 9 December. For full details and to make a pledge go to http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theoak-circus-centre-in-norwich
In December Lost in Translation are presenting their Christmas Circle Carol at The Oak featuring a mix of their students of all ages alongside professional circus performers. There are performances on 15th, 16th and 17th December and tickets are available at www.theoakcircuscentre.org   or by calling 01603 568 634.