Monday, June 20, 2016

Stratford Circus Arts Centre announces Autumn 2016 season

·         Highlights include the UK premiere of Attached from Swedish circus company Magmanus featuring a Velcro-suited duo
·         A new strand of programming will showcase East London writers and new writing telling personal stories relevant to people living in the area
·         A day of free outdoor arts in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park featuring NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse
·         600 £1 tickets and hot meals made available to disadvantaged local children & families as Full Hearts Full Tummies campaign returns at Christmas
·         A new musical adventure suitable for children with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
Stratford Circus Arts Centre presents a season of performance from artists ranging from the very local, to the international. With work from companies including NoFit State Circus, Motionhouse, Frantic Assembly, Magmanus, Dance Umbrella, Upswing, Tall Stories, Filskit Theatre, and a panto from Blue Sky Actors – the venue’s resident company of performers with learning difficulties and disabilities – the season offers a broad range of drama, dance and circus to appeal to audiences local to Stratford and further afield. The Autumn 2016 season is the first to be announced since the appointment of the venue’s new Head of Programming Ashlie Nelson to work alongside Stratford Circus Arts Centre’s Director Tania Wilmer.
A highlight of the season is the UK premiere of Attached, from Swedish circus company Magmanus (22-24 Sept), which comes to Stratford having wowed audiences across Europe. A fast-paced and energetic show, Attached features a Velcro-clad duo who exhibit their acrobatic agility as it quickly becomes clear that they are hopelessly connected. Other stand-out events in the circus programme include a day of outdoor performance featuring artists climbing and toppling from a teetering make-shift tower in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse, presented by Stratford Circus Arts Centre and Foundation for Future London as part of the Circulate consortium (28 Aug).
Reaffirming its close links with the local community, Stratford Circus Arts Centre will present a new strand of drama programming to showcase stories relevant to East London communities, written by writers living in the area. This Autumn, Libby Liburd will present Muvvahood (27-29 Oct), a verbatim theatre piece about single mothers, and Newham-born writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum invites audiences into the warmth of the Canning Town Schvitz, East London’s last authentic bath house for Bubble Schmeisis (16-18 Nov).
Touring productions to the venue include a version of Hamlet featuring an all-Black cast, presented by Black Theatre Live (2-5 Nov), and Frantic Assembly’s Ignition (26 Oct). The programme for children and families includes the return of Upswing’s Bedtime Stories (28-29 Oct), Dance Umbrella (8 Oct), Fun Palaces Family Day (1 Oct) and the Stratford debut of West End hit Room on the Broom (2-18 Dec). Aurora Orchestra will present a new musical adventure, Pepper The Monkey & The Extraordinary Rainbow Circus (30 Sept-1 Oct with versions of the performance suitable for early years audiences, over fives and for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), responding to the varied needs identified in the local community.
At Christmas, the Full Hearts Full Tummies campaign returns with 600 £1 tickets and hot meals made available to local families during Christmas show Breaking the Ice (19-24 Dec). Stratford Circus will work once more with local charities and food banks to ensure those most in need are able to have access to and enjoy a theatre visit they would otherwise not be able to afford.
Season booking opens Monday 13 June at 10.00am. Discounted tickets for Newham residents are available to nearly every show of the season.
Tania Wilmer said, “As an arts centre and resource for our local community, connecting people in Newham and East London with accessible, world-class artistic experiences and creative opportunities is at the heart of our mission. Our new season represents the most exciting aspects of this vision, spanning intimate performances of personal stories by East London artists, to spectacular shows by high-profile international artists in Magmanus’s Attached.”
Stratford Circus Arts Centre Stratford is dedicated to providing accessible experiences and artistic excellence. Its mission is to inspire the diverse communities of East London and develop local talent in collaboration with the best artists in the United Kingdom and internationally. Stratford Circus Arts Centre curates a programme of theatre, dance and circus, alongside a programme of work for young people and families.  It is committed to remaining a safe and accessible community-centric venue at a time of great transformation in East London. The venue is adjacent to Stratford City and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the London Borough of Newham. With a 300-seat auditorium, a 90-seat studio theatre, and a large studio, Stratford Circus Arts Centre receives more than 120,000 visits a year - reaching over 60,000 people annually through its artistic and creative learning programme.
@StratfordCircus |
Booking Information
Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BX (except Circulate) | 020 8279 1080
In person: Mon – Sat 9am – 6pm Sun 10am - 2pm
For more information about booking including terms and conditions visit
Newham Resident Discount: Stratford Circus Arts Centre offers Newham residents concession price tickets to most events.
Family Multi-show Saver: Purchase tickets to more than one family show in the same transaction for selected shows and pay the concession price.
Group Saver: Book ten full-price tickets for a show and get one free.
Concessions: Where available, concessions are offered to students, over 60s, and people on Income Support.
Listings information
Sun 28 Aug      Circulate
Timber Lodge Café, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park E20 1DY &
Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BX
11.00am – 5.00pm | Free
Performance times at
A day-long celebration of outdoor arts presenting extraordinary work for all ages in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Theatre Square, Stratford.

Île O
Compagnie Barolosolo
Performance 5.30pm
Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BX
Dive into an eccentric reimagining of life lived knee-deep in water as two clowns step into the spotlight in this humorous and unique show by French Compagnie Barolosolo. The Chinese Pole becomes a flute, the water turns into a drum and while one gets his feet wet, the other goes to great lengths to avoid a dunking.

Life Boat
The Institute for Crazy Dancing
11.00am –5.00pm
Timber Lodge Café, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park E20 1DY
Climb aboard the Life Boat, relax in a hammock as the boat gently rocks. Listen to the sounds of gentle drumming and the Life Boat Alphabet and make conversation with fellow travellers and the friendly crew as together you watch the world go by on the slowest ride on Earth, and look at the world from a slowly changing point of view

Thurs 22 Sept - Sat 24 Sept      Attached
                                                7.45pm | £14 - 18
“Extremely funny, terribly endearing” - Le Parisien
Touring the UK for the first time Attached is a fast-paced, energetic and funny circus performance from Swedish company Magmanus. As this impressively skillful duo exhibit their acrobatic agility, it quickly becomes clear that they are hopelessly connected. When one falls, the other one flies. An elaborate set up of seesaws, flying mats, a curved silver slide, Velcro balls and audience members create a sensational domino effect in the rousing finale. Flying, flipping, sliding and sticking, in this thrilling show that just won’t let you go, everything and everyone – including the audience – is attached.

Fri 30 Sept - Sat 1 Oct               Pepper The Monkey & The Extraordinary Rainbow Circus
10.30am, 11.30am (Fri), 1pm (Sat) & 3pm (Sat)
£10, £8 (conc), £32 (family of four)
Join Pepper the mischievous monkey on a dare-devil musical journey to the extraordinary Rainbow Circus. Enter the Green Leaf Forest, meet fluffy wise old owls, raucous stubborn lions and turn yourselves into magical snake charmers.
Aurora Orchestra blend brand-new chamber arrangements of enchanting music by Schumann with a specially-commissioned story from writer Kate Wakeling. This musical adventure is presented as both an immersive performance for early years listeners and children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and as an interactive and playful introduction to classical music for families.

Ages 0-4:     Fri & Sat 10.30am
Ages 5+:      Sat 1pm & 3pm
PMLD workshops:
Fri 30 Sept 1pm and 2pm

Sat 1 Oct                                  Fun Palaces Family Day                                                          
10am – 3pm | Free, some activities ticketed.
Enter a laboratory of fun and tap into your mischievous side in an interactive, full-filled day of activities for children, young people and their grown-ups. Drop in and take part in activities for big and little people, unlock your inner artist, get your hands messy and enjoy pop-up performances. Fun Palaces is a national celebration of arts and culture. Activities run throughout the day and include a mixture of free and ticketed events.
Sat 8 Oct                                  Tetris
3pm | £10, £8 (conc), £32 (family of four)
Internationally acclaimed Dance Umbrella & Arch 8 Dancers present two pieces by unorthodox choreographer Erik Kaiel.
Inspired by the iconic video game, Tetris is a high-energy show for little people who just can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb the walls, and those who can imagine further than they can see. Exploring how we interact with each other, four contemporary dancers leap into gravity-defying flips, slides and tumbles, perfect for little wrigglers (and big ones). Ages 6+
Sat 8 Oct                                  O Snap
6pm | £10, £8 (conc), £32 (family of four)
Internationally acclaimed Dance Umbrella & Arch 8 Dancers present two pieces by unorthodox choreographer Erik Kaiel.
Fusing urban and hip-hop dance, O Snap focuses on the stumbling blocks of teenage years where emotions and friends rule. A dance performance about finding your own identity in an overloaded world. Ages 10+
Fri 28 – Sat 29 Oct                    Bedtime Stories
11.30am and 3pm | £10, £8 (conc) £32 (family of four)
Family Circus Workshops 4pm, £5 per person
                                                “An inventive, thoughtful story told with great visual expression.”
— Everything Theatre
                                                Celebrate the magical time of day when the stresses and strains of life melt away, and escape into a world of imagination and dreams.
                                                Tucked up with your family and friends in a bed, take this chance to unwind and be dazzled with stunning circus, projections, dance and beautiful music, originally produced by Stratford Circus Arts in partnership with Upswing.
Ages 3+
Sat 5 Nov                                 The Daughter Of The Forest
11.30am and 3pm
| £10, £8 (conc) £32 (family of four)
Workshop 1pm: £5 per child
Come and listen to Mohiruho, the magical talking tree, as she tells stories of crocodiles, monkeys, deer, tigers and a brother and sister who live in a forest.
From the forest world of The Jungle Book, and told using narrated legends and dramatic physical action, it is a story about the importance of caring for the world around us rather than exploiting nature for our own gain
An exciting and colourful adventure for all ages from Komola Collective, enter the magical world of the forest through puppetry, physical theatre and storytelling, with music by acclaimed British-Bengali band KHIYO. Ages 6+
Tues 22 - Wed 23 Nov               Layla’s Room
1.30pm and 6.30pm | £10, £8 (conc)
“Heart-warming but poignant” «««« What’s On Stage
For Layla, every day is a battleground. The pay gap, the thigh gap, over-sexed pop and selfies that are photoshopped – they’re just part of the world she lives in. But that world is about to change.
Breaking out of her bedroom, Layla explodes the realities, difficulties and absurdities of being a teenager in the UK today through drama, comedy, poetry and music. From Theatre Centre and by Sabrina Mahfouz, Layla’s Room brings hard-hitting and hope-filled teenage voices to life, weaving together, regrets, fears, role-models and ambitions. Ages: 13+
Sat 26 Nov                                Underneath A Magical Moon
11.30pm & 3pm | £10, £8 (conc) £32 (family of four)
“tutti frutti enraptures its young audience with a wonderful and warm piece of theatre“ - The Stage
Re-imagining the enchanting story of Peter Pan as told by Wendy, fly into a fantastical world of adventure, where time stands still, the impossible seems possible and if you close your eyes and believe, then you really can make anything happen.
Written by Mike Kenny, Underneath a Magical Moon features exquisite music, enthralling movement and a sprinkle of tutti frutti magic. Ages 3+
Fri 2  - Sun 18 Dec                    Room On The Broom
1.30pm & 4.30pm 2nd Dec, 11am & 2pm 3rd, 10th-11th, 17th-18th Dec, 10.30am & 1.30pm 5th-8th, 12th-15th Dec | £12
                                                «««« Sunday Times  «««« Time Out Critic’s Choice
Tall Stories’ magical adaptation of the much-loved story by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler flies into Stratford this December.
The witch and her cat are flying along on their broomstick when a stormy wind blows the witch’s hat, bow and wand away into the night. A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things and all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and… CRACK… it snaps in two! When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch?
Full of laughs, songs and scary fun for little ones and their grown-ups, Tall Stories’ Room on the Broom a perfect Christmas treat. Ages 3+
Mon 19 - Sat 24 Dec                  Breaking The Ice
1pm & 3pm 19 Dec, 11am & 2pm 20 – 24 Dec | £10, £8 (conc), £32 (family of four)
«««« The Stage                                           
Join Filskit Theatre’s arctic adventure based on the incredible true story of a wild polar bear who made friends with a husky. Join Team Polar Bear or Team Husky as the animals learn to play together. Then get involved in the fun yourself with our Arctic activities before or after the show. Ages 2-5
FULL HEARTS FULL TUMMIESNewham has some of the highest levels of child poverty in the country. Stratford Circus Arts Centre will provide 600 £1 tickets and hot meals to some of the borough’s most disadvantaged children and their families during the run of Breaking the Ice. The venue will be working with children’s centres, food banks and local ambassadors to reach children whose families simply can’t afford to take their children for a Christmas treat.
Sun 4 Dec                                Blue Sky Panto
3pm and 6pm | £4, £2 (conc)
Blue Sky Actors is Stratford Circus Arts Centre’s resident ensemble of performers with learning difficulties and disabilities. Suitable for all ages.
Tues 15 – Fri 18 Nov                 Shakespeare Schools Festival
7pm | £9, £7 (conc), £6.50 (rate for groups of 20+)
Stratford Circus Arts Centre is thrilled to welcome local talent to the stage as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Each night four schools will perform four different Shakespeare plays. Come and celebrate the achievements of our local schools while enjoying a wonderful evening of entertainment.
The Shakespeare Schools Festival is the UK’s largest youth drama festival and enables over 1,000 primary, secondary, and special schools to stage abridged Shakespeare productions in their local professional theatre. 35,000 young people will take to stages across the UK.

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