Who Do They Think They Are

Who Do They Think They Are?

Who do they think they areis an ensemble circus theatre performance that delves into themes of diversity, identity and what it means to be a female circus performer, against the backdrop of historical female and ethnically diverse performers.

The show draws on previously un-researched and unknown historical narratives of circus performers and the personal experiences of the company of diverse contemporary performers. These narratives are interpreted using high level circus skills, ensemble dance, physical theatre, projections and text.

Directed by Eleanor Hooper and co-commissioned by Professor Vanessa Toulmin and Being Human Festival 2019.

Audience Quotes:
“Wonderful stories of the diversity of circus and breath-taking performances from local circus performers”
“An innovative and empowering show examining the role of race and gender in circus”.
Claire Crook Mirrors and Ribbons Performance

Mirrors & Ribbons

An aerial theatre piece exploring female body image. Using contemporary circus, text, images and stories from ground-breaking historic female circus performers, it tells the story of women’s bodies and our relationships with them. It looks from the outside in and the inside out. Women’s bodies have become public property and we, as women internalise the opinion that our bodies should look and behave a certain way in order to be palatable. It uses circus as an empowering medium to celebrate strong bodies, referencing obsessive behaviours, negative thought patterns and how we become consumed by body image negativity, even when being upheld in the public spotlight.

It is the strongly feminist piece that every man should watch! Created in collaboration with Dr Sandy Belle Rosales Cadena and the National Fairground and Circus Archive and commissioned by Festival of the Mind 2018.

Being Trapped is just a state of mind Madam Mango


Trapped is an exploration of the human condition, of being trapped, of the limitations that we place on ourselves  It is also, ultimately, a piece about freedom. This is an aerial and spoken performance that combines physical theatre with an underlying metaphysical narrative.  A story that speaks of the ways in which we perceive we are trapped in our lives. It is woven through the use of rope as metaphor, the vertical dimension to explore human issues, fear, loneliness, vulnerability and conversely strength, empowerment, and self-reliance. Commissioned by Circus 62, performed at Tilt Festival, Tick-tock Cabaret, Greentop Circus and Circus Mash.

Claire Crook madam Mango Circus Performance Rift


Rift follows the stories of a group of individuals brought together when they survive a plane crash that lands them on a remote island. At first they believe it to be uninhabited, but then discover an eccentric tribe who take them in, not realising that behind the friendly façade, danger lies. 

A research and development project, funded by Arts Council England that created a draft narrative driven ensemble circus theatre show, performed at The Big Shed, Sheffield in 2010.

Madam Mango Avid Shenanigans

Avid Shenanigans

What would you do if your shadow started to misbehave, seeming to have ideas all of its own? Avid Shenanigans uses aerial, shadow puppetry, live shadow interaction, animation and an underlying metaphysical narrative to illustrate themes of ambition, negativity and the impact our own thoughts have on our realities. 

Made in collaboration with visual artist Sarah Jane Palmer and funded by Arts Council England.

Projects in Development

More News From Nowhere

Performed on an original piece of aerial equipment and inspired by Homer’s epic story The Odyssey. This piece aims to explore contemporary migrations, leaving, arriving, disconnection and disorientation. Weaving these tales into each other to deliver a powerful and emotionally powerful show addressing one of the biggest human stories of our time. The performance uses storytelling, aerial, high physicality and live music.

Adventure Shack

In collaboration with The Babbling Vagabonds Storytelling Theatre.

Commissioned by The Barnsley Civic Theatre and Greentop Circus, and funded by Arts Council England.

Granny has crashed her flying craft and is sorting through the wreckage when we arrive at the crash site. A mix of storytelling, physicality, comedy and circus. The heap of objects on the floor is in contrast to the fixtures and fittings on the ceiling. Objects trigger memories from her rich and varied life, and we discover her story and how she got here and where she is going next. Currently at the research and development stage, this will be an outdoor show aimed at family audiences on a unique set and structure.

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