Circus FAQs

Would you like to run away to the circus with Playbox Theatre? We’ve included circus as one of our training disciplines for over 25 years and now have members performing all over the world in some of the leading contemporary circus and physical theatre companies. Read on to find out whether it’s right for you…

What do I wear to circus arts? You will need to wear clothes that are comfortable and free for you to move in. Circus, at its core, is a physical discipline and it is really important that when you attend your training prepared for all the fun and excitement that circus can bring, and this means wearing clothes that are appropriate. You need to be wearing tracksuit bottoms/leggings/shorts and a t-shirt or training top. School uniform is not acceptable and inappropriate clothing will mean that a member cannot take part in certain activities!

Is there a uniform I can choose to wear? Yes! We offer training tops that have be chosen specifically for the requirements of circus, as well as our excellent and comfortable hoodies. If you’d like to place an order, please email info@playboxtheatre.com

Which studio do the circus workshops happen in? Usually the circus workshops take place in the main theatre at The Dream Factory in Warwick.

Who are the directors of the circus workshops? You will be working with a range of circus professionals who have trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts. They are professional circus artists whose experience varies from Cirque du Soleil, Jackson’s Lane, Silver Linings, The Roundhouse & many nationally touring troupes. These artists are supported by course director, Barney Mcelholm, who is a theatre director and who has many years working professionally in different aspects of the theatre world.

Do I need to bring anything with me? Do I need to provide my own equipment? All you need is sensible clothing, water and a great attitude.

Do I need to come every week? Yes – we encourage our members to attend every week as it allows them to really grow, improve, strengthen and to make the most of our circus training artists.

I don’t know anyone else in the group – will I be able to fit in? Yes! We love seeing new faces and are regularly introducing people to our sessions. We are an open family and in your first session you will be paired with another member to show you the ropes (or silks!).

I don’t have any experience, will I manage on the course? Yes. We have structured, tiered groups for circus that are not only based upon age but also ability. The one thing you absolutely need is a great, positive attitude as in circus we are not only learning new skills but also training our bodies to be ready for those skills. Be ready to push yourselves & to learn!

What skills are covered by the programme? Everything! We vary our core skills across a range of circus arts, with particular focus on acrobatics, silks, hoop & trapeze. In addition, we frequently welcome visiting professionals for disciplines such as straps and manipulation.

I already have previous circus/gymnastic experience…is this the right workshop for me?Yes, absolutely! Depending on your previous experience we will identify which group best suits you, taking into account your age as well as ability. We aim to encourage and engage with all members and would love to see the skills you already have brought to our creative table.

I’m only interested in one of the skills that you offer. Can I specialise in one area, or do I need to cover everything? You must cover everything. It is our belief that circus performers in training need to be as well rounded as possible. On top of this all disciplines will develop your strength, flexibility, co-ordination and determination!

Do we have the chance to perform? Yes! We stage large scale circus productions in our theatre every couple of years and members of the circus training are invited to audition for these. In addition, we offer chances to perform at ‘scratch nights’ for our older members who are given the chance to show their acts whilst in development. On top of this, we do occasional end of season sharings for all our age groups.

If I only do circus, can I audition for Playbox Theatre’s productions? No. If you only attend a circus workshop, you will only be eligible to audition for a circus production. Lots of members enjoy taking part in both circus and theatre workshops, which opens up lots more casting opportunities.

How much does it cost? Membership of Circus Arts is between £110-£160 per season, dependent on which workshop is attended, payable 3 times per year.

How do I join? To enquire about membership and to find out if we currently have places, please email membership@playboxtheatre.com with your name, date of birth, phone number and postal address…as well as details of which workshop you would love to become a part of.

Will I have to go on a waiting list? It depends! We will offer you a place as soon as possible. If you have to go on a waiting list, we hope it won’t be for too long.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about out circus department – do let us know if you’d like to become a member!