LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

AirCraft Circus school training

Ever dreamed of running away with the circus? If you’d like a good grounding in the necessary acrobatic skills,  AirCraft Circus is seeking students for its next foundation course, beginning August 26.

The full time, intensive 16-week course for adults includes up to four classes a day in aerial skills such as static and flying trapeze, rope and silks; ground-based tumbling, acrobalance, Chinese pole and trampoline; juggling, hula hoops, unicycle and diablo; taster sessions in specialist skills like tight-wire and stilts; rigging and safety; plus physical theatre and act creation.

To see the sort of skills you could pick up, head along to the circus school’s End of Term Cabaret this weekend, Friday 6 and Saturday 7th of June and see the students of the last foundation course showing off their work.

For tickets and more details on the foundation course, visit or call 020 8317 8401.

The show takes place at AirCraft Circus’ base, The Hanger, near the Thames in South East London and offers the chance to check out their training facilities.

If you fancy learning the ropes (ahem) previous circus experience isn’t essential, but you need to be fit! As the school says, “We like to think we make it look easy but really circus is very tough, its all rope and steel and bruises day in and day out.”

But what’s life like for students who go on to join the circus? Read Circus Mania for chapters on Circus Space - now the National Centre for Circus Arts - Zippos travelling Circus Academy, which travels in its own big top, and of course dozens of people like showman Gerry Cottle, sword-swallower Hannibal Helmurto and Bippo the Clown who swapped everyday lives for sawdust, spangled and glamour. 

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