It's difficult to find time to do anything else at the moment as we're still having lots of rehearsals, along with two shows on Thursday and Friday and three on both weekend days, plus one on Monday before we leave to set up on a new site. Life here is pretty fast paced; one minute we're setting up the tent in one field, the next we're pulling it down to set up somewhere else. I think that's definitely part of the magic of circus, although it is exhausting. I'm not looking forward to our three day stop in Sunningwell; we'll spend most of the time building and pulling down the tent rather than performing in it! Remember in my last post when I said I quite enjoyed it? Strike that, reverse it! But we are becoming quicker at it each time.
The good thing is, on Tuesdays (our usual build day), Hannah and I get to go around our next location, giving out flyers to shops and the general public. The only downside to that is we have to go in costume i.e leotard, fishnet tights and plumes of feathers and stand slap bang in the middle of town. As you can imagine, sometimes this provokes interesting reactions from some people, particularly the ones in Wetherspoons at 11 in the morning...
|Ready to brave the public!|
Being an all-singing, all-dancing, all-seeing usherette is fun but it is also proving to be incredibly hard work. We have to be ready and on the doors (of the tent) 40 minutes before each show starts and during the show, in addition to being part of it, we have to adopt the eyes of a hawk; watching out for rogue children who aren't sitting in their seats, or spotting people who need help in any way at all. It can be really challenging! Especially when children clamber up onto the ring boxes (the tiny barriers between the audience and the performers) when the horses are charging around the ring. Now that is terrifying, especially because it's our job to stop them!
We also sell programmes, take tickets, seat people, sell all manner of things from traditional trays around our necks in the interval, tidy up the tent after each show and sing, tap dance and generally join in with the show. We have a diverse role, that's for sure...
Some funny things have been happening as well. An alsatian dog from outside the tent jumped into the ring last week (during the horse act, of course!), Tom the tiny pony is randomly attacking Tweedy the clown and James the compere is habitually forgetting his lines! It's so funny to watch the same show everyday and know all the cues so well that it's really obvious when things go wrong! And the audience are often blissfully unaware. The saying 'the show must go' on has never rang so true...
|The crazy Ukrainian acrobats!|
I'll be back soon with more tales of the unpredictable life of the circus- just watch this space!
|Stocking up on move day...|
|Having a snooze back stage!|