“How we came to be”
It was my love for entertainment, fairgrounds, circus’s and theatre that helped give birth to the concept of Phantom circus.
Like a lot of children I can remember being taken to the circus.
For me it was the Gerry Cottle’s circus taken there each year by my great aunt. Which would set up camp on a piece of land next to Southend airport.
I can remember instantly falling in love with the acrobats, clowns and animals. - Back then clowns did not freak me out like they do now.
I found the acrobats amazing, and hypnotising. Even now its my favourite part of any performance. There is something free and fluid about the entire performance.
So I had my little dream of running away with the circus.
When I started college in 2000 I was also working as technical stage and lighting crew at the local theatre. I found my self drawing sketches of the dancers and set. Then it slowly turned in to harlequins and big top.
During this time I was a true Goth, which influenced the colour pallet of this random project to become: Black, Blue, Purple and silver.
Slowly the ideas started to come together.
It was not just to be a travelling circus, but also a fair ground.
A lot of the drawings have been lost but what I have left has inspired me to keep on designing this Circus.
The Costumes, the make up, the bigtop, and the fairground, it just keeps growing.
The circus and fairground has a main theme, or store. in away it is slightly dark.
The back story
The performers are all run aways, their those that feel out out place in the world. it is partly drawing on the idea of the freak shows. That those who were out casts in society found a home as such in the circus’s side shows.
Day of the dead is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
So the idea of using this as part of theme is to remember those you have lost or left behind.
Or apart of you (the performers) that has been left behind.
With no animals with in this circus, puppets take their place, with the lion tamer taming a wild puppet. fictional animals, as puppets and over the top costumes,
Each performance is to have a store, its a play.
- A traditional circus performance.
- It is to have a Com dell'arte look and vibe about it, with stock characters.
- Acrobats and a small group of dancers portray demon like creatures.
- A lions cage pulled in to the ring. But its not a lion, it’s a puppet lion operated by 2 performers. (There are no animals in this circus)
- Horses, bears, tigers, elephants. All puppets
- Griffins, phoenix, winged horses. - other puppets
- Day of the dead style make up.
- Angles and demons.
© sarah jane patel