Founded in early 2012 by Edward Gosling and Laurane Marchive (also known as Lily Raptor), Chivaree Circus brings together the ideas, storytelling and circus to present character based acts. Both founders have strong backgrounds in literature, with Marchive adding costume making, ballet and gymnastics, making this a strong team which is developing rapidly.
With Gosling working predominantly with object manipulation and equilibristics (including juggling, unicycle, whip cracking and devil sticks), and Marchive covering a more flexibility based discipline range (including aerial hoop, hula hoop and contortion), they span a range that allows for shows packed with variety. Add to the mix a numerous number of fire skills and the show is complete.
The Chivaree Circus cast changes depending on the show, but the troupe often includes character actors. This company have nailed the idea of developing shows to fit the purpose, and bringing in cast members relevant to the show at hand. With everything from balloon modelling to stilt walking and fire, this company could turn up to any event and offer something spectacular. Their flexibility works in their favour, with an endless list of acts and performers to call upon.
Past cast disciplines include sword swallowing, snake dancing, sideshow performers and magicians which together form a complementary melange of traditional circus acts. This company also know how to dress to impress, ranging from children’s party clown to the downright bizarre. We spoke to founding member Edward Gosling to give us a run down of how the company spends it’s time.
What are the company up to right now, and what’s the goal?
Chivaree Circus is split into two parts. The first half of our attention goes towards stage shows and cabaret. Much of this is in collaboration with different groups and we are always looking for new people with new ideas. Much of the ideas and acts that become favourites of ours were conceived when a particular challenge was set for a stage show. As performers there is a real beauty that comes from being in front of this kind of audience.
The other half of our attention goes towards events and club nights. We want to create pop up worlds, ephemeral events that appear only to disappear like the travelling circus but in a more modern setting. Working with club nights like Carousel or with experiential events companies like Dynamite XP we get to create whole new aesthetics and stories. Here too, there is a lot of room for collaboration. Performing at festivals like The Secret Garden Party with The Artful Badger Stage and Ethnobling this summer we get to create individual shows for larger audiences. But we can also do our own thing. This year at Standon Calling Festival whose theme was “Running away from the Circus” we took 16 performers to run the dark late night part of the festival “The Forest of Freaks”; we ran the sound-system as well as bringing musicians, and had all sorts of performers from jugglers to fire artists to stilt walkers, and contortionists. In 2013, we were at less festivals, though we had a bigger role. In 2012 we were at 12 festivals – a wonderful way to spend a summer, but tiring.
I’m happy with where we are and where we are going. Earlier this year we did shows in Barcelona and Berlin and it would be nice to do more international work. We are also working on bigger and more exciting events. Later this month sees us working with the launch of a new television station. We are also in process of starting a new stage show and we are lucky to be working with a great crew for this. Teaching has always been a big part of Chivaree Circus and we regularly run workshops to a new generation of circus performers as well as facilitating corporate training days and development courses in partnership with Q Learning.
So what is our goal? To make the most exciting company in the world. Why aim for less?