by Julian Bracey, Artistic Director

We created a great urban circus show at the Excel Centre last week for a big tech company. Here’s a quick story on how it went…

The Brief

Our approach to any show is always the same. Firstly, how can we make a great show that will connect with our audience. And secondly – how are we going to achieve this within the brief, budget and time constraints.

Each show has its own unique set of challenges and with this one the main challenge was the time frame. The client tasked us with creating a new, bespoke show that reflected their brand with a 4-week lead time.

The audience was a group of international delegates who, by showtime, would already have had a long day. The show therefore needed to be exciting, bring fresh energy to the room and have universal appeal.

The Show

We decided to create a modern, technicolour urban circus show with loads of positive energy. We created a soundtrack with live beatbox vocals, tightly choreographed dance routines, bike stunts, breath-taking aerial and high-octane fire and pyrotechnic performance. We also designed a bespoke video backdrop to create a highly visual set.

The performance space consisted of a large main stage with a catwalk out to a podium in the centre of the room. Our show therefore had to fit this, and we had fun incorporating more up close and personal moments for audience interaction as our performers traversed the catwalk.

There was a tight get in scheduled, so we did as much in advance as possible. We storyboarded the show and sent the lighting company timecodes. This mean the lighting could be designed in advance requiring minimal refocusing on site. We also installed all our rigging and motors in advance of the set going in to speed things up on site.

We rehearsed the show at a rehearsal studio space relatively near Excel. We then transposed the whole show including video, SFX and costume into Excel over the course of one evening.

Artists and Crew

Creating relatively large, one-off shows like this requires a massive team effort. Over the years we have built up a strong team of performers and stage crew. We have an incredible existing network, but are also committed to finding and showcasing new and exciting artists and crew.

In this show for instance, we brought on board incredibly experienced performers like the legendary bike rider Danny Butler. We also however had one of the latest young guns of bike trials – 18 year old Oli Weightman (current world champion).

This is an approach that works throughout both our performance and our production team, relying on trusted relationships we’ve formed over our 25 years as a company, but also making sure there are young dynamic team members keeping us all on our toes.

The Result

The show was a great success. We got the whole audience on their feet and left with a very happy client.

After a bit of break from corporate shows like this following COVID, it’s great to be back. We have a couple more large corporate shows in the coming weeks and will post more about them when we’ve delivered them!

Do you have an event coming up? Get in touch, we’d love to speak to you about it. And whilst you’re here, take a look at our Vimeo Showcase of some of our favourite performances from the last 25 years.