Derry… Get your shiny, new diary out…
The team at In Your Space Circus has had a Christmas break and are now super busy getting ready for a FULL YEAR of celebrating Circus250: a UK-wide celebration marking the 250th anniversary of Circus!
“#Circus250 is set to be a brilliant celebration of all things circus, a quarter of a millennium after the form began right here in the UK.”
This year Belfast-Derry will be one of the six “circus-cities” and will host a selection of spectacles and events to celebrate!
In Your Space Circus, based in Derry, is the Northwest’s leading Circus and Street Theatre Company. They are responsible for such amazement as; Carnival of Colours, the Wonder Windows (you might have seen at Christmas) and many of the crazy circus characters and shows you see about the town!
In Your Space Circus also run an in-house circus school working with more than 70 people each week from their premises on Waterloo Street. (
New term starting 20th January!!)
“We also meet our charitable objectives by providing circus workshops for some of the region’s most disadvantaged children and young people through our Good Relations and Outreach programmes which take place in community settings across Northern Ireland.” says Company Manager, Cath McBride.
The #circus250 celebrations will jump-start on Tuesday 9th January, discovered to be the birth date of Circus, with a projection of the logo (designed by Sir Peter Blake) onto the iconic Derry walls, as well as 6 other flagship buildings across the UK. And this is just the beginning…
In Your Space Circus will have an exciting surprise in store for Derry at every event this year with a cheeky wink to the past and a big salute to the old vintage Circus style...
(it’s soooo “in” right now…!).
IYSC are very excited to be bringing this massive Circus Hootenanny to Derry and will be kicking the celebrations up a notch at their flagship festival ‘Carnival of Colours (where they have said they are PROMISED gorgeous tropical temperatures after the direst conditions in September 2017).
A big part of IYSC's Circus250 year will be the Carnival of Colours – The much-loved Festival is the only one of its kind in the North-West. It first pitched up in St Columb’s Park in May 2004 and has since developed to be one of Derry’s favourite festivals! The event owes its grass root beginnings to the whims, passions and dedication of the original In Your Space Team, including Founders John Burns, Richie McClelland, Martin McClelland and in collaboration with The Serious Road Trip – ‘the world’s most rock‘n’roll aid organisation,’ who brought their Big Top and their daredevil performers to the City to push some boundaries and open some minds.
And that they did. The Festival began with limited funding but over the years has established itself as a weird, wonderful and welcoming event for the broadest audience, proving to be a driver for economic development, tourism, good relations, quality arts activities and community development. Phew – it’s even tiring to list how much they do!
In 2017 the event battled on through weather of a biblical proportion and after the stilt walkers were eventually rescued from a belter game of Stuck in the Mud, it was checked off as another success! International performers from Australia, Spain, all across Ireland and the rest of the UK showcased their circus and street performance talents alongside local artists of all art forms and genres, all of which was possible thanks to funding from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Tier 2 Fund, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Foyle Foundation and sponsorship from Tourism Northern Ireland and Joe Jacksons.
Company Manager Cath McBride said: ‘Carnival of Colours sets the standard for the rest of our creative work; it allows us to make connections at international level while showcasing the best in local talent, of which there is so much! We continually encourage artists to create new work and push their creative boundaries. We are so proud of Carnival of Colours - where it came from, and what it has become. We are driven by the aim of creating a sense of happiness, fun and joy, and making the arts accessible for as many people as possible. In 2018 we plan to make the Festival, and all our programming across the year, a massive celebration of Circus250 to raise the profile of circus and the many, many benefits it reaps.’
All of the Company’s dazzling work is produced and performed by an incredible team of freelance artists and facilitators and IYSC would like to thank everyone who has contributed to its achievements to-date. In the spirit of continued growth and inclusivity, In Your Space Circus welcomes everyone who is interested in getting involved in the circus art form as it enters its 250th Year!!
A wee jook at Carnival of Colours over the years...