2018-19

  • Circus Life: Art and Artistes ran in the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck from Wednesday 7 November to Wednesday 12 December 2018. The exhibition celebrated circus’ 250th anniversary, and featured paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics and sculpture by artists currently working alongside the circus community, including Peter Lavery, Kate Stone, John Stillman, Abel Kesteven and Curtis Tappenden, as well as prints by Laura Knight, and pieces by Clarice Cliff and Clifford Hall. Alongside the exhibition, we hosted a programme of events:
    • Wednesday 7 November, 6-8pm: Private view and reception (Peltz Gallery): This evening will include circus skills demonstrations and the opportunity to meet some of the exhibiting artists.
    • Saturday 10 November, 2-5pm: Circus Life: Circus on Screen (Birkbeck Cinema): Supported by BIMI (Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image), this special programme of circus-themed films includes a number of short “back stage” documentary pieces about circus life, followed by a 90th anniversary screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 silent classic The Circus.
    • Monday 12 November, 7.30-9pm: Theatre Conversation: Circus Life, Cultures and Communities (G10): This panel discussion will be hosted by Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellow Julius Green, offering a unique opportunity to meet with performers from the circus community and discuss their life and work.
    • Thursday 6 December, 7-8.30pm: Circus Life: Why We Should All Run Away with the Circus (Peltz Gallery): Join Dea Birkett and Ron Beadle at our finale event as they look to the future and discuss why we should all run away with the circus. Dr Birkett is a writer, broadcaster and Ringmaster of the Circus 250 project. Ron Beadle is Professor of Organisation and Business Ethics at Northumbria University and Visiting Professor at the National Centre for Circus Arts. He researches ethics in circus and is co-founder of the Circus Research Network.
  • Panel discussion: Alvis Hermanis: On Friday 16 November, 6.30-8.30pm (G10), we co-hosted a panel discussion in which two major theatre directors discuss the importance of historical concepts of the avant-garde in contemporary European theatre. The panel was followed by the launch of the book Spaces and Stages of Avant-garde Theatre in Central-Eastern Europe. This event took place as part of Back to the Future: Central European Avant-Garde Reclaimed, a major international conference organised by Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • St James’ Gardens Project: On Saturday 24 November, 9pm and Sunday 25 November, 6pm, Camden People’s Theatre presented a first work-in-progress sharing of the St. James’ Gardens Project. Directed by Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellow Brian Logan, it explored the impact of the HS2 development on St. James’ Gardens in Euston. Supported by the Birkbeck Public Engagement Seed Fund.
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