Here at Circomedia, we are dedicated to developing students’ physical theatre ability – bringing together more traditional circus skills with a physical theatre angle. We believe that physical theatre takes students and performers beyond orthodox circus and encourages experimentation and performance with an intellectual dimension.

What are we talking about, when we talk about physical theatre?

Over the last decade or so, there has been a growing consensus across European circus that ‘tricks for tricks sake’ are no longer enough to produce inspiring and boundary-pushing performance. We need to bring an artistic dimension to circus. Physical theatre allows us to do that.
Physical theatre is about imagination and play. It uses the body as a means of expression – your body becomes the raw material through which you make theatre. Through the body’s physicality, we can express emotion or ideas that can’t be summed up with words or dialogue. In physical theatre, we can bring together what is normally kept apart: popular and esoteric; physical and cerebral; high and low art; local and global; play and structure. When we devise physical theatre, we are asking the following two questions: what is the piece trying to communicate? And what are the concerns of the maker?

Physical theatre and your studies

Developing your physical theatre skills with Circomedia will help you become a well-rounded performer and give you the building blocks you need to devise innovative and interesting work that provokes thoughtful responses – as well as the wow factor.
Physical theatre is good for you, because it:

•    Trains you in movement precision
•    Helps you make connections between your interior thought process and exterior narrative
•    Allows you to use your personal experiences to devise innovative and authentic work
•    Expands your horizons as you draw on the world around you for inspiration
•    Expands your imagination as you devise new characters or re-create existing ones
•    Builds your confidence as you find new, expressive ways to communicate with audiences
•    Develops your understanding of the interaction between structure and chaos
•    Helps you find new ways of looking at the everyday
•    Encourages group working and collaboration

Physical theatre and Circomedia

We already have a fantastic, international reputation for stylistic experimentation. Through our Foundation Degree, we encourage you to apply circus technique to narrative theatre, kinetic sculpture, live art, stand-up, grotesque and burlesque. Further, our world-first MA in Directing for Circus will give aspiring and experienced performers and directors the chance to really integrate their circus practise and physical theatre experimentation. The course encourages participants to look at the director both as author and facilitator through research, theory, practise and collaboration.

Circomedia’s aims for physical theatre

We are determined to defy traditional concepts of talent, intelligence and success. We want to change the way in which people create (and interact with) circus. That’s why through our courses we aim to nurture a creative dynamic that inspires performers and audiences alike by providing students with confidence, expressive techniques, and the ability to develop their own skills.

Find out how you can apply to join our BTEC, our Foundation Degree, or our MA in Directing Circus.