Claire Crook/Madam Mango is a multi-disciplinary circus theatre artist with a passion for creating high-quality performances
Her main discipline is aerial, specialising in rope (corde lisse) she also performs silks, static trapeze, aerial hoop, hula hoops, fire and stilt walkabout.
With training in theatre, contemporary dance and acrobatics she likes to use her skills to their full potential in her work as a solo artist, as one half of an aerial duo and as a collaborator on ensemble projects. She creates contemporary circus theatre performances that fuse narrative with circus for stunning visual and emotional effect.
Tarzanna - Gramophones Theatre
Photo by Pamela Wraith
She has worked nationally and internationally for over 20 years in circus, theatre, cabaret, corporate and community events. Creating beautifully choreographed aerial and ground based routines for all kinds of events.
As well as been on the stage she works behind the scenes as a rigger with notable companies such as Baseline Circus, Sideways Arts, Luke Jerram (Museum of the Moon, Gaia) The Gramophones Theatre, Greentop Circus and Paper Doll Militia.
Her own productions include “Mirrors & Ribbons” an exploration of female body image against the backdrop of contemporary and historical circus performers. Made in collaboration with Dr. Sandy Belle Rosales Cadena and the National Fairground and Circus Archive.
“Who Do They Think They Are?” an ensemble show in development about identity, circus and belonging. Commissioned for the Being Human Festival 2018.
“Trapped” a thought provoking short piece about life, death and the human condition, fusing aerial with text, narrative and physical theatre.
“Avid Shenanigans” a collaboration with visual artist Sarah Jane Palmer combining live shadow interaction, projections, animation with an underlying metaphysical narrative.
“Rift” research and development into a narrative based ensemble circus theatre show following the survivors of a plane crash on a remote island.
She has also created many aerial acts and shows for events and festivals including a counterweighted rope act with Alex Anderson for “Fallen Legends” in the Playhouse Theatre at Shambala Festival, “Buried Alive” her Halloween themed rope act and “Vertifarm Circus”.
Chesterfield Garden of Light
Mirrors & Ribbons. Photo- Michael Poole
She is collaborating with The Babbling Vagabonds Storytelling Theatre on “Adventure Shack” a new outdoor circus theatre show for families commissioned by Greentop Circus and The Barnsley Civic Theatre and funded by Arts Council England (in development 2021).
Music of the Spheres
She works regularly with Incandescence Circus Theatre on their large-scale shows and Christmas entertainment, with Eye Music on “Music of the Spheres” an ethereal aerial performance inside a giant inflatable sphere floating on water, notably performed for European Capital of Culture celebrations in Turku, Finland. In 2019 she was artist in residence in The National Centre of Craft and Design in their Circus and Pop Culture Exhibition to mark the 250th Birthday of Circus in the UK.
She is a multi-role performer in “Tarzanna” by The Gramophones Theatre a children’s aerial theatre show with an empowering environmental feminist message. In 2019 she toured with Syrcas Chimera on “Drudwen” a bilingual original fairy-tale told through a fusion of circus, theatre, live music and comedy. In 2016-17 she was a performer and rigger in “Loops End” by Paper Doll Militia a triple bill of aerial theatre performances, in “Birdy” by Osborne & What, adapted from the book by William Wharton about the effects of war and shell shock and “Taking Flight” with Rogue Play Theatre, designed with visually impaired audiences in mind and starring a visually impaired actor/aerialist Karina Jones. All touring theatres and festivals throughout the UK.
Drudwen. Photo- Inept Gravity
She was one of the sprites in Theatr Genedlaithol Cymru’s “Y Storm” - a translation into Welsh of the Tempest by William Shakespeare for the World Shakespeare Festival, premiering at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and subsequently touring.
Her career has been varied and encompassed highlights such as corporate performances for Remi Martin in Nigeria, in the beautiful setting of Ripon Cathedral to mark the beginning of “100 Days of Culture” for Liverpool Fashion Week, may award ceremonies and high end Asian Weddings. Musical shows credits include “Cirque du Revolution” a resident Beatles show in Tenerife and an arena tour in “Carnival du Vampires Rock”. Festival credits include The Jazz Backstage at Glastonbury, Playhouse Theatre and Social Club at Shambala Festival, Exit Festival in Serbia, Fusion Festival in Germany, Greenman, Boomtown and Bestival.
100 Days of Culture Launch
Cabaret performances for Cabaret Boom Boom, Wardrobe of Delights and Cabaret Heaven. She was suspended from a bridge in “Looping the Loop” during the celebrations for the 2012 Olympics, and has performed her hula hoop act for “Y Llwyfan” a Welsh television variety show. Her adventurous spirit has led her to perform in countries such as India, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Nigeria and Egypt as well as all over the UK.
She taught for many years on the full-time professional Circus in Performance Course at Greentop Circus as well as teaching regular classes in various locations, teaching privately and travelling to teach workshops and masterclasses in aerial and aerial theatre.