VOLT Scratch Night – Autumn 2023

VOLT is a regional circus scratch night, creating opportunity for circus artists in South West England and South Wales to share work-in-progress pieces in a professional environment. Artists present short pieces of new work to a public audience, discuss their work in live sessions, and invite the audience to provide further feedback to take away. 

“VOLT is a great opportunity to realise ideas in a physical space, test them out with an engaged and intrigued audience and discuss ways of progressing the boundaries of our artforms” – Chez Dunford (Previous VOLT Artist)

This is a chance to see new circus acts, short pieces and excerpts from new creations by artists from across the south west. Expect a warm atmosphere and a real mix of artists and audiences watching new work and helping to shape it. Come to VOLT if you’d like to see inside how circus is made, experience new professional work in development and chat about performance over a drink.

Image shows a performer in a red dress, sat on a chair, holding juggling balls.

Our VOLT 2023 artists are…

Ben Cornish (He/Him) – Roll. Bounce. Throw

My name is Ben Cornish. I graduated with a Theatre degree from Dartington College of Arts in 1987. Whilst on that course I learned to juggle. Since then juggling has been the one constant in my life. In lockdown times I wrote a book about it called ‘Juggling…and the art of practice’ 

 In 2019 I became a student again on the Circus Directing MA. Shortly before I came on the course I almost died. This experience has a profound impact on my juggling. 

 My piece ‘Roll Toss Bounce’ is an exploration of the techniques I learnt in the aftermath of this health crisis. 

Instagram: @ben_the_juggler 

Jake England-Johns (They/She/He) – The Swing of the Axe

There’s a peace from the gender noise to be found in the swing of the axe. A catharsis. A sense to be made of the people left behind. 

I chopped a lot of wood whilst Mum was sick. I used my Step Dad’s axe. It’s my axe now. I wonder how much my nail extensions will get in the way? I wonder what they’d think if they saw me cutting logs these days… 

Award winning physical theatre and circus performer Jake England-Johns offers a personal dance with loss, lineage and gender through the swinging of their step fathers axe. 

Instagram: @seriousmischief 

Poppy Emer Greenford Juggling at the Edge of the World

‘Juggling at the Edge of the World’ celebrates the un-heroic; being reckless with the fine china, bubbles as choreographers, and the relentlessness of the womb. Bringing audiences into a world where rules are tested and most likely overturned. A game of discovery within the cracks and crevices. Puzzling together a judicious collection of fragments and everyday moments, through an eco-feminist lens. For artist, Poppy Emer Greenford, this research enquired the edges of her practice by working with non-circus-specific apparatus in a physical storytelling context.  

Instagram @barefoot.in the.bluebells 

Facebook @bumble.movementarts 

Jen and LKDon’t Drop Me

‘Don’t Drop Me’ sounds simple enough, but whose job is it to catch, and who is supposed to fall? When balancing on the edge of risk the only option is to muddle through and find what trust looks like. A piece to subvert expectations and find nuance in the spectacle. 

Jen and LK are swinging trapeze partners who couldn’t be more different but they’re finding ways to make it work. 

Instagrams: @aaaaalrightythen @leikaysha 

Two artists fly upside down on a large outdoor trapeze.

La Mery (She/Her) – Mi Carga

La Mery is a recently graduated multidisciplinary circus artist from La Rogelio Rivel (Barcelona, Spain). This piece is devised on the concepts of self-destruction and frustration. Through being abused by a trapeze and finding your way out by climbing the ropes on your own. An intense, beautifully painful piece to showcase a reality that most people live in.

Instagram: @mery1kenovi 

Tickets and Details

Dates & Times: 12th of October – 7:30pm
This event will be BSL interpreted

Tickets: £10
Age guide 16+
Location: St Paul’s Church, BS2 8SJ

s are varied and may include adult themes. Please contact us for further details.

VOLT Scratch Night is presented in partnership with Handstand Arts as part of Circus City.

Circus City logo

The seating configuration for our performances is flexible, but as standard, our main seating area is raked. The front rows are level and accessible, and aisle seats are available. Please get in touch to reserve seats in these rows are required.

Please note that seating in our Gallery is accessed via a flight of stairs and is not accessible for audience members who may find stairs difficult or impractical.

Wheelchair and step-free access can be found at our side entrance. We use What 3 Words to give you an exact location on a map. Follow the link below to find this entrance.

Side Entrance Exact Location: https://what3words.com/mostly.ledge.chop

Main Entrance: Stepped Access

For performances, our main double doors serve as the principle entrance. This entrance consists of three steps up to the Box Office foyer, and three further steps up to the main building. We use What 3 Words to give you an exact location on a map. Follow the link below to find this entrance.

Main Entrance Exact Location: https://what3words.com/total.offer.native

Free Tickets for Carers

If you are a dedicated carer accompanying a paying visitor who is disabled, you are eligible for a free ticket (limited to one carer per paying visitor). To book your ticket, please give us a call on 0117 9477288 or email boxoffice@circomedia.com.

Circomedia does not issue refunds unless the event is cancelled or postponed to a date on which you are unable to attend.