In this new production, Mimbre’s Joint Artistic Director Lina Johansson joins forces with critically-acclaimed designer Loren Elstein and experimental composer Quinta.
The Exploded Circus invites audiences into a moment where an explosion has been frozen in time, the remnants of a big top caught mid-air – with everything from the circus ring, sequins and fairground horses suspended above the ground. With striking imagery and subtle humour, the show explores themes around change, hope and belonging.
Director Lina Johansson comments, With a feeling that the world around us is on the cusp of big changes, I want to create a performance reflecting on this in a microcosm. Be it Brexit, global warming or the refugee crisis, there is a strong feeling of change and upheaval around us. I want to use the show to reflect, as well as imagine what could come from this change and how we can use it to grow. I want audiences to feel the palpable uncertainty around us, but also nurture a feeling of hope. The Exploded Circus mixes spectacle and visual impact with heart and personal stories. The risk and trust inherent in circus – the falls and the balances of the performers – allows me to explore a physical narrative that the audience feel in their bodies as well as follow with their minds.
Mimbre’s work pushes the boundaries of contemporary circus with a cast made up of six versatile artists: French performer Alice Allart on trick bike and slack rope (Stumble Dance Circus, Keziah Serreau, Ilmatila, Osborne&What); physical theatre actor and aerialist Farrell Cox (London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies, Charles Chipperfield Circus, LAS Theatre); physical performer Coral Dawson who specialises in corde lisse and aerial harness (Cirque Bijou, Citrus Arts and Full Tilt Aerial), Canadian acrobat Arielle Lauzon with Chinese hoops and slack rope (Festival Montreal Complètement Cirque, Cirque Eloize), aerialist Rebecca Rennison (Upswing, The New Vic Theatre, The London Cabaret Club) and juggler Lynn Scott (Gandini Juggling, Upswing).
Composer Quinta (The Paper Cinema, Rambert/Cunningham, Ockham’s Razor) creates an ethereal score – combining her flair for improvisation, non-conventional scoring, electronic interfacing and work with new instrumentation. Designer Loren Elstein (Rent, Hangmen, The End of Longing) ingeniously creates a three-dimensional world inspired by artworks such as Cornelia Parker’s Exploded Shed, David Spriggs’ Half Explosion and Ori Gersht’s Time after time photographs.
The show is supported by Arts Council England through a Strategic Touring grant, Foyle Foundation, PRS Foundation, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space, Worthing Theatres, Imagine Luton, Merchant City Festival, Brewhouse Arts Centre Burton upon Trent, Lancaster Arts and Circus250.