Circomedia was founded over fifteen years ago by physical theatre expert, Bim Mason and choreographer and performer Helen Crocker. It rose out of the ashes of Fooltime, Britain’s first ever circus school – and ever since has attracted students from all over the world. It is different from many circus schools as there is a heavy emphasis on combining traditional circus skills with physical theatre and creativity. It is this approach to performance that has led to Circomedia being acknowledged as a centre of excellence worldwide.
Circomedia is committed to the principles of performer as creator and the integration of circus disciplines with theatre in its widest sense.
If performers in circus and theatre are to be able to contribute to the creative process and be more than the vehicle of a director's vision, we believe the development of the individual's creative and performance skills to be of equal importance to those of technical expertise.
Our educational philosophy is that it is essential that minds and personalities need developing as much as bodies. Our training has a pragmatic approach to learning for a vocational profession and a holistic approach to teaching each individual.
We ensure that the demands and rigours of good technique are met whilst encouraging people to develop an innovative and imaginative approach to circus and physical theatre. This development is informed by expanding students' range of knowledge of possible styles and approaches.
Circomedia uses two sites- one, Victorian- era former school, built around a picturesque courtyard and set in leafy grounds at Kingswood on the outskirts of Bristol; the other, a beautifully - restored 18th century church fronting on to a Georgian garden square, in the very heart of the city.
Our Kingswood site is home to Circomedia’s degree program and main office space. It boasts 4 training spaces including 3 aerial spaces and mirrored studio. There is also a student room with a kitchen, quiet study room, classroom and IT suit. This site also holds a library with a comprehensive selection of books and media on contemporary circus with physical theatre. There is also a shared café on site!
Circomedia: Portland Square
St Paul’s Church is our central Bristol venue and training space, home to Circomedia’s BTEC course. Converted and saved from dilapidation in 2005 by The Churches Conservation Trust, this building houses the UK’s largest in-door trapeze rig and aerial facilities unparalleled in the South West. This space is also home to Circomedia’s youth circus, City Circus and plays host to several half day and drop in classes.
This space also presents Circomedia’s professional programme of work which sees a diverse range of professional companies perform circus, physical theatre and dance. It has most recently won the Hudson Heritage Award for The Best Re-Use of a Heritage Building. It is also available for hire.