Circomedia, 10th Anniversary Celebration

Review in Issue 8-2 | Summer 1996

This strange, one-off event was held in an empty wing of the Circomedia buildings, a vast hall showing signs of severe fire damage – blackened walls, charred timbers and crumbling masonry – which had been transformed into a kind of post-apocalyptic baronial hall with ornate mirrors, large statues, animal masks, candelabra and huge swathes of drapery and aerial equipment hanging from the bared girders.

The event worked on many levels – an appraisal, a reunion, an artform talking shop and a party, helped along with some stiff cocktails, courtesy of the sponsors. It started in a fairly conventional way: before some serious speeches, Haggis Mcleod set a world record for balancing (16) gin bottles on his chin and there were set pieces such as Rod Laver’s eccentric mouth juggling act and a number from Blink, the manipulation trio from Los Angeles.

Later a ‘representative’ from the arts consultants Arts Slick praised the government for ‘patronising’ circus and announced that funding had successfully been secured – for arts consultancy. He welcomed the ‘Minister for Circus’ whose speech was interrupted by explosions and crackers outside the windows where two stilted samurai warriors wielded pole-mounted flares while ragged ‘artists’ invaded the stage to strip, chain and drag the arts consultant out to be sacrificed in a tin bath full of fire. After the flames had died down, the icy winds and darkening sky forced everyone back to the bar where bizarre images of masked characters on ropes were projected onto the wall, the cocktails got stiffer, everything went hazy…

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-2
p. 22