Howl! Performances have been going well with the show bedding in nicely. We have some more dates coming up before summer comes to an end. If you haven't seen it yet then come along.

Mae perfformiadau wedi bod yn mynd yn dda, a dwi'n mwynhau gwneud y sioe. Mae gennym fwy o ddyddiadau yn ddod i fyny cyn i'r haf ddod i ben. Os nad ydach i weld eto, dewch draw.

Eisteddfod Genedlaithol Cymru 10 & 11 Aug/Awst

Awen Trust, Bryngarw Country Park 30 Aug/Awst

Span Arts, Scolton Park 31 Aug/Awst

Commissioned by Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium.

The what? I hear you ask, The Eisteddfod, something, being Welsh, I thought everyone knew about. Apprently not, many of my friends had never heard of the Eisteddfod, well, it is Wales' largest cultural festival and I learned this year that it is also the largest touring festival in Europe. It is 2 weeks of competitions, presentations and performances in singing, dancing, poetry, theatre, spoken word, music and much much more, alongside the compeitions there are bands, stalls, networking events, workshops and this year, for the first time, a large scale, outdoor contemporary circus show.

The show was dreamed up by the directors of The Eisteddfod, along with circus producer Zoe Munn and made in collaboration with Gorilla Circus. With a cast of 3 Welsh and 3 non Welsh artists the show was set to a specially commissioned poem by Wales' Childrens Poet Laureate, Casi Wyn. Casi performed the first part of the poem live from on top of an upturned car at 10m high, whilst myself and felow artist Kelsy Bell descended on ropes from inside the car to gasps from the crowd.

The show continued with an excellent hair hanging solo by Poppy Plowman, Counterweighted Trapeze and Hoop by Ophelia Atkinson and Daisy Williams, and me on rope. Then came the undisputed highpoint of the show, a high wire walk by Ellis Grover, the crowd holding their breath as he made his way across. The grand finale saw all the performers spinning on a carousel and big jets of flame!

The show was a great success, and as a Welsh performer, a real honour to be a part of something new at our largest cultural festival. Diolch yn Fawr!

It was so lovely to do my first performance in my new locality earlier this year, at the Highland Bagpipe Championships. I also felt like I'd definitley been accepted by Scotland! For you non-Scots there is a longstanding tradition of Bagpipe bands in Scotland and there are gatherings where bands compete. The bands consist of a number of bagpipers and drummers and they create and amazing sound and spectacle.

I was there with Moray Flying Circus to provide some light relief from the competitions by doing walkabout, aerial shows and circus workshops.

The day dawned fair and we had a great time on the walkabout sets with those who had already competed and their supporters in a relaxed and generally buoyant mood. The shows went well, with Ruaraidh starting with a dance trapeze solo, followed by my rope act and then Emma and Rachael doing doubles hoop. Our second show coincided with a break in the competitions so we persuaded a couple of young pipers to play along with our show.

All in all a lovely day!

This year I was drawn to a small festival organised by the Landworkers Alliance- The Land Skills Fair. It is a festival that focuses on land, food and climate justice. It is a medly of workshops, talks, music, performances and networking. Going there to perform combines my work life and my hobbies and passions.

So, along with Daisy Black of Gossamer Thread Circus we created bespoke aerial and spoken word performances on the themes of nature connection, climate, seasons, ecology and folklore. Writing and creating the piece was a very enjoyable creative endeaver, and I was keen to see how it was received by the audience. Daisy used some material from a film project she made during lockdown, adapting a part of it for live performance, as part of a larger project to be realised in 2023.

Both rope performances, they sat together beautifully and our short shows were well received by the very lovely audiences. It was, as ever a challenge to perform outside- we were rained off on Friday, but the weather held for Saturday and Sunday.

One of the things I do sometimes, is deliver text live while doing aerial, which can be a challenge for numerous reasons. On this occaision, because of being outside at a festival with background noise, I used a headset radio microphone, which of course brings its own problems, not least, where put and how to secure the battery pack and how to keep the headset on your head whilst going upside down and moving dynamically! In this case the wind also presented a challenge, as, the higher up you are, the windier it is, and the microphone was picking up the wind noise, which was a little distracting.

Despite this, the shows went well, we had fun and received good feedback on the performances. We are hoping to develop this into a full show to tour next year, and bring in Daisy's existing dream for the larger project- watch this space.

It's been a while since I updated my news, because it has, as ever, been a busy summer, and I'm not complaining! July saw me heading south into England, firstly to be a rigger for Farrell Cox's new show- Ambivalence. She played two venues- Northern Stage in Newcastle and Derby Theatre. I have worked with Farrell as a performer and rigger quite a bit these last years, mostly through The Gramophones Theatre's shows- Tarzanna and Aidy the Awesome. It felt really good to be supporting Farrell on her journey with this brave aurobiographical show- about living with psychosis and as a black queer woman navigating the world. It combines these narratives with aerial, dance and text, and Farrell delivers a powerful and moving performance.

The rigging was fairly straightforward for me, just a lifting system for a hoop and aerial plastic. I actually Iove getting in the roofs of theatre's and seeing what their grids look like, I often remember the grid more than the rest of the theatre if I rig in there.

Anyway I look forward to seeing how it develops and to her touring the show further afield. You can find out more about Ambivalence on the link below.

This spring I am on tour with a brilliant aerial theatre show called Aidy The Awesome. Aimed at 3-12 year olds it has been dreamt up by the brilliant team at The Gramophones theatre and is an empowering tale of super hero grannies and their grandkids, in families where the super powers are passed down the female line. It is full of fun, stunning visual effects, stunts and comedy.

The show is played on and aroud a bespoke rig, and, on this tour I am in charge of it. It is probably the most comlex aerial rig I have ever been in charge of and its been a good challenge to rise to. We are now part way through the tour, the shows have been really well received and the team are realy getting to grips with the rig. I wasn't sure how happy I would be, being on tour but not being in the show as I often tour as a performer and rigger in the same production. While I wouln't want to always do it like this, I'm quite enjoying not being quite so busy on tour and not having the pressure of having to do a show or three in every place, its fun, and I have the extra time to explore the places we are going.

You can find our remaining tour dates and promo video here:

It was a busy year for Music of the Spheres performances, and I enjoyed spending more time on this performance. If you've not read about this before, It is an incredible and unusual performance that I feel very fortunate to be a part of. It is an ethereal duet between an aerial dancer- myself and flute player Simon De Sorger. I am inside a giant inflable sphere that floats on the water, Simon performs inside a smaller sphere on the land, with Lawrence Casserly providing live musical effects, the piece is called The Water Cycle and is imporvised between us.

Our grand finale this year was at the prestigeous Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. The site was pretty incredible, a semi deserted dockland with Canary wharf and the city seen in the distance, with a distopian feel. Spheres shows are always interesting with the variables of the site and the weather conditions, and this one was no exception! The site was already windy which can be problematic, so the decision was taken to use the smaller Sphere- 24ft instead of 36ft. It means I just have an aerial hoop in there rather than silks, but it meant we had a much higher chance of the shows going ahead. The weather gods shone on us in the end though and the wind wasn't too strong, we got three shows in. I am totally reliant on the team from Colourscape, headed up by Izzy Linley to keep me safe, and because of the size of the body of water this time, the rescue boat crew, it is an exercise in trust.

Music of the Spheres is one of my favourite performances, once inside the Sphere on the water it is magical, I enjoy the sensations, the water wooshing below, the sphere moving and bobbing on the water, floating. It is a fully elemental experience and for the audience and us performers really is an show like no other.

I was lucky enough to be cast in a new show with Rowanbank Environmental Arts Education. The show "Positive Imaginings" was the most ambitious of the company to date, is a site-specific circus theatre show about the climate crisis for children. It was challenging and rewarding, and I loved working with the team of 3 other performers- 2 musicians and 2 circus performers and director Rachael McIntyre. We devised the show, using ground work already done by the company with a school local to the site- Craigmillar Castle Park in Edinburgh. We wove a tale with magical charecters in the woods- I was "Gwynt" which is Welsh for wind, a kind of magical woodland sprite, I lived in the woods as part of nature and observed the world of humans with curiosity. The performance used aerial circus, narrative, text and live music and culminated in a children's climate assembly where the audience had the opportunity to express their ideas for a positive climate future. All transport to and from rehearsals and performances was, in line with the subject matter of the show, by bicycle or public transport.

The company is now seeking funding to tour this show in 2022.

To find out more about this show and to see the promotional film and a mini-documentary about the making of the show take a look at the Rowanbank Environmental Arts Education Website:

A lot of work goes in behind the scenes on gathering support for new projects, and as every fund is hugely competitive these days, it can be a bit of a demoralising process. However, when you do gain support, it is hugely satisfying. So this year I have been trying to develop "Who Do They Think They Are?" the scratch performance created for Sisterhood of the Ring, an event about women and BAME performers in circus. Our show was commissioned by Professor Vanessa Toulmin who curated the event, and is an exploration of identity, being a female performer and how circus has shaped our lives.

I applied for the Victoria Works New Work and Artist Support fund as I have been wanting to explore further the subject matter for this show, develop it and hope to tour it in the near future. We spent a week in the space, working on stories, text, movement, counterweighting, dancing and thinking about what we want out of this performance.

The week was also really valuable for us to deepen our relationship as an ensemble and was hugely enjoyble. I hope to be able to announce further develpoment soon!

One of my great pleasures, and an entirely new experience was my residency at NCCD as part of their Circus exhibition. My residency was made up of a few elements- performances at the events for the opening and closing of the exhibition, working in the gallery and teaching both public rope workshops and a masterclass for the aerial team based at NCCD. Being in the gallery was a great opportunity for me to spend days immersed in my own practice, working on rope choreography, theatrical ideas and writing that has all fed into performances I've created this year. It was a very new experience to have my work be so public as often there were people in the gallery, sometimes they wanted to chat and sometimes to watch, and I hope it was an interesting experience for them too.

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