The biggest event in our wonderfully full calendar this summer is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, which will take place in central London on 5th June to celebrate 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
Engaging many of the the biggest names in the UK outdoor arts and carnival scene, as well as many hundreds of community and professional artists, the Jubilee Pageant will have all the excitement and spectacle of an international carnival. We were approached by Pageant Master Adrian Evans over a year ago and since then have been busy planning our section of the parade – working on a vision for a young, diverse, urban performance on a moving platform.
How do you go about designing a float from scratch for the Queen? How do you engineer something that is a stage, a moving vehicle, and a colourful backdrop all at the same time? Something that suits the route, the artists that will be performing on it, and the atmosphere of the event? These are the challenges our Artistic Director Julian and Production Managers Nic and Tom have been facing.
Luckily, over the years we have amassed an incredible network of talented individuals who can help us with such ambitions. Julian’s ambitious design is currently being manufactured at the workshop of one of our best engineers. He’s bringing the plans to life, ensuring we have a platform from which to perform circus, pump music, and navigate the parade route. For an example of some of his previous work, check out the Wheel of Energy kinetic sculpture that was engineered for our show at the Kazakhstan Expo.
With kind support from Volvo who are supplying a cab, our float is mounted on to the back of a flatbed trailer. On top of this, we will have a trampoline wall, stage area for performers, and custom-built DJ booth. Bristol artist Zoe Power has co-designed the artwork of the float – bringing her distinctive flair and eye for detail.
Our mobile stage will be populated by a diverse and dynamic cast of world-class circus artists, street dancers and urban athletes, as you would expect from a Cirque Bijou performance!
Pole Champion Andrew Gregory will lead our section with a very exciting act that he is developing especially for the parade. 90 urban dancers aged 5-17 from Tottenham-based dance group Steppaz will dance on and around the float, alongside circus artists including cyr wheel, stilts, aerialists and acrobats.
The trampoline wall on the float will see Backflip Ben and his trampolinists show off their incredible skills, whilst UK trials mountain bike champion Danny Butler and his team will be riding around and performing tricks on and off the moving vehicle.
Award-winning London based fashion house Teatum Jones are costuming our entire company of over 100 artists. We will be sharing more information on this exciting aspect of the project in the weeks to come.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant has a thorough and conscientious sustainability policy. For the Jubilee, as with all our projects, we’re looking at how we can make sure our show and working practices are as sustainable as possible.
In addition to careful use and reuse of materials in the build of the float, all of Teatum Jones’s bespoke costumes for the team will be zero-waste. Made from end of roll material which would otherwise be landfill, they’ll be hand-painted or dyed, meaning no need for chemical washes.
We’ve also been carefully planning logistics for the show, making use of public transport and coaches where possible.
Powering our sound system will be green energy power packs, generously supplied by JCB.
Can’t wait till June?
Head to our YouTube channel and have a look at our showreel and videos from past events for an idea of the kind of energy and expertise we will be bringing to the parade.