Photo – John Preece
Have you ever thought about running away with the circus? In Norwich you don’t have to, the circus has come to you!
As part of Norwich’s Circus250 celebrations of the 250th birthday of circus, The Oak Circus Centre is hosting an open weekend of FREE activities on 28 and 29 April, giving everyone an opportunity to find out what’s on offer and to try a range of circus activities. Professional trainers will help visitors try their hand at juggling, plate spinning, Diablo and hula hooping, or to scale dizzying heights and sample aerial disciplines. For younger visitors aged 3-5 years old aged there will be a gentle and playful introduction to circus skills.
The weekend will also see the climax of the I Spy Circus trail around city centre churches run by Norwich Historic Churches Trust. The trail runs throughout April. Armed with a downloadable map young people and families can visit 10 sites and learn about the city’s circus history and heritage. After finding the hidden letters at all 10 venues maps can be entered into a prize draw to win circus classes. Download the map at www.theoakcircuscentre.org/events/
Early evening on Saturday 28th there will be a Community Cabaret featuring performances from current Oak students of all ages alongside professionals and tutors. This will be followed by an exclusive preview of Inside Out, the new show from Lost in Translation’s Massimillano Rossetti and Roisin Morris. Inside Out is an exaggerated, colourful, loud, over the top exploration of how people interact and behave on the outside and what they really mean on the inside. Massi and Roisin have held the Guinness World Record for most somersaults on a Korean Cradle since 2015.
Norwich Historic Churches Trust will be conducting guided tours of St Michael Coslany, the beautiful and unique Grade I listed 15th century church that houses the Oak Circus Centre.
Other events include live music sessions, circus poster print workshops from Print to the People and the opportunity to watch dance classes from Norwich’s Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts.
The Oak Circus Centre is Norfolk’s only venue, run by experienced circus performers, providing training in circus skills for everyone from beginners to professionals. Its popular year-round courses and classes appeal to people who see circus training as an interesting alternative to the gym as well as those with ambitions to perform professionally.
‘Circus training is a great way for adults to keep fit as well as learning some amazing skills’ said The Oak’s Head of Education Roisin Morris ‘and for young people they are a great way to improve motor skills, balance, co-ordination and strength as well as developing confidence and pride’.
‘We all had such fun at last year’s Flintspiration event arranged by Norwich Historic Churches Trust, and were so amazed at the levels of enthusiasm from the public that we really wanted to throw our doors open again to launch our celebrations for Circus 250’ said Oak Director Massimillano Rossetti.
All events are free but donations to support the upkeep of the centre and the 15th century church of St Michael Coslany will be very welcome!
Norwich has been chosen as one of six UK Cities of Circus to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first circus. This took place by the Thames in London in 1768. Every circus, anywhere in the world, began at this moment. Information at www.circus250.com
The Oak Circus Centre is at Oak Street, Norwich NR3 3AE Tel 01603 568 634
Doors open at 9.30 each day, full details and timings for the weekend are at www.theoakcircuscentre.org/events