Monday, 14 August 2017

Let there be light

Images from a lighting session with Crisis clients, run by Nomi Everall.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sawdust is on sale

Tickets are now available for Sawdust, the 2017 Hidden Spire show, performed 11 - 14 October, 7.30pm. Click here to find out more and book your tickets.

“I live and breathe the circus, got sawdust running through my veins…”

Viva Vintage Circus is falling on hard times. The performers – from Lena the acrobat to Samson the lion tamer and the incredible, impossible Insect Girl – have become their own kind of family, determined to see the bad times out.

What do you do when your way of life is crumbling, and you don’t have enough money to pay the lions?

Step backstage and see a new side to the circus.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Writing the 2017 script

2017's Hidden Spire show is underway: Sawdust, a story set in the seedy underbelly of a vintage circus. The script has been written by Crisis clients working alongside playwright Rowan Padmore. We asked Rowan to tell us a bit more about the process.


In April 2016 I was invited to become the writer for Hidden Spire 2017. To say I was pleased would be an understatement. I was absolutely delighted, excited and maybe - just maybe - a tiny bit scared. The previous Hidden Spire shows have been very successful, and I knew they were a hard act to follow.

We came up with a starting point to begin to explore ideas: the concept of A Beautiful Mess. We began at the end of the summer, with physical theatre workshops bringing together artists from theatre company Complicite, Crisis clients and members of the public. We then worked with Crisis clients for a fortnight offering physical workshops with Emma Webb the movement director, and writing workshops with me.

From September to March I taught a weekly play-writing class for Crisis clients where we read extracts from scripts, discussed ideas and wrote stuff. At some point in late Autumn I settled on the play being set in a circus. We looked at photos of circus acts and old posters, and began to create our own characters. We imagined the characters both onstage and off, and gave them a history and a future. We wrote dialogue and developed the relationships between them. We talked.

I then had to take the vast amount of work we had produced in class, put it together and give it shape. Some ideas receded and others jumped to the fore. I wanted to create a piece of theatre that would be entertaining and exciting and a bit weird, just like the process had been. I worried. A lot.

Eventually I came up with a script that I hope contains much of the beautiful mess of the last months. It’s set backstage in a circus big top. It’s called Sawdust. Come and see it in October.

- Rowan Padmore

Monday, 12 September 2016

Hidden Spire 2017 is happening...

A new year, a new look! The website has gone blue to celebrate the start of a new Hidden Spire project. Meetings are happening, workshops have begun...stay tuned to see more of Hidden Spire as it develops.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Hidden Spire 2015 - short recap

Don't have time to watch the full recording of Before The Tempest? Watch our short recap video here to see what you missed:

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Watch Hidden Spire 2015: 'Before The Tempest'

Many thanks to all those who saw Before The Tempest, which played to sold-out houses for four fantastic performances, 17 - 19 September.

Couldn't make it to the show? Never fear - the fantastic Akanbe Films recorded it, and you can watch it here:

Artist Nicola Armitage created a short film for the Hidden Spire exhibition about the process of creating the show. Watch it here:

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Rehearsals in progress...

Rehearsals are underway for Before The Tempest. With opening night next Thursday, cast and crew are working hard to make sure everything is at the ready.

To give you a taster of what's in store, here's what we've been getting up to in rehearsals (Pictures by James Sutton):