SHOPPERS at Crystal Peaks can take a flight of fancy over the Easter holiday.
Newly-established theatre company Cirqular have chosen the shopping centre as the venue for their debut performance installation.
Called The Flight Project, the show is all about man’s constant desire to achieve flight. “It looks to overload the senses of the audience, to trick their imagination into thinking they are flying,” explains Marc Henderson, co-artistic director of Cirqular with Joel Redgrave.
“The inspiration for the installation came from watching the elevation of a dancer. For a solitary moment in time, he or she defies gravity and achieves a natural suspension in air. This is the moment we seek to recreate.”
There is a narrative to The Flight Project which introduces the audience to a young girl, who watches the birds in her garden and develops a desperate desire of achieving flight. In an effort to fulfil her passion, her parents buy her a ‘magic trampoline’ to help her fly. The audience are then invited to step inside the little girl’s mind, experiencing the power of a child’s imagination and the brief, yet all-consuming ecstasy of the suspended moment when she feels her dream realised.
Henderson and Redgrave have had input on the project from choreographer Kate Sicchio, a leading pioneer in mixed media performance, and funding from Ideas Tap, the creative network and funding body for emerging arts talent.
After training at Italia Conti stage school and the Royal Ballet School, Henderson went to Hull University to do a drama degree and that’s where he and Redgrave met.
“My background is dance and Joel’s is acting and this is a combination of that,” says the Scots performer. “While at Hull we took a show called Dyslexia the Musikal to the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 but this is our first project since we formed Cirqular.”
The physical form of theatre led them to circus and after graduating they came to Sheffield to train with Greentop Circus and decided to base themselves here.
The interactive element of The Flight Project demanded a public space. “Crystal Peaks were very supportive when we took the idea to them,” reports Henderson.
The Easter holidays seemed the perfect time to reach as many children and adults. Cirqular will be performing from next Monday for two weeks. Due to “the experiential nature of the project”, there are no set performance times, which adds to the spontaneity of the experience.