Interview: Hannah Thompson (Circ Motif) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Due to the current pandemic, North-East contemporary circus, theatre, music and dance company, Circ Motif are unable to entertain crowds like they used to and so have begun engaging the wider community online with a series of classes and performances. Their next online performance, Confetti Cabaret, takes place on 12th June and is a first of its kind circus cabaret performed live and featuring Geordie circus, international performers, and audience interaction.

We chat with Hanah Thompson, director, producer and clown at Circ Motif, about the upcoming show and circus life under lockdown.

How have you been coping with lockdown? What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?
– Lockdown has been what the great Ronan  Keaton once said: “a rollercoaster you just gotta ride it.” At first, I was determined to clean every inch of my house! And when that was over I turned to what I know best, making shows. In this time I’ve started to write a new circus theatre show (But it’s all shh shh for now) as well as developing our weird and wonderful Confetti Cabaret!  Keeping creative has really helped my mental health and given me some sanity in such times of uncertainty. 

How has CIRC Motif adapted with the current climate? What have you been doing behind the scenes?
– As a performing arts company, we have defiantly had to rethink and strategise how to continue our work. We have used this time to focus on continuing our creative practice through project writing and show development and also trying to get our heads around a life online. How to stay interesting and engaging on a platform which is oversaturated with content from organisations and companies. This has been the hardest thing, to creatively solve a problem which is completely new and unique to our generation. What we do as an arts sector will ultimately change the sector in the future. It’s spooky thinking we are part of the evolution generation! 

We have also found pleasure in watching and analysing vintage cult films to learn from the classics with the hope of adapting some of our work for the screen! 

Tell us more about Confetti Cabaret, your online live circus cabaret. What can we expect? 
Confetti Cabaret in real life is an explosion of colour, mayhem and madness. High-quality circus acts infused with improvised comedy and embarrassing our audiences! We hope the online version will be just that too! 

We have an amazing team of creative writers and tech wizards to help us create a cabaret which is as engaging as the real thing. It’s taken us a while to make the decision to throw a cabaret online but since it’s going to be a while until we can all be together again we thought to take up the challenge and do it the best way we can confetti style! 

Expect comedy, incredible live acts and a whole lot of randomness! 

Audiences can get involved with our cabaret in a number of ways. We have our agony uncle, Uncle Mav who will answer any embarrassing or questions or problems on Insta or Twitter @askmavanything or submit one of our audience challenges via our insta @confetti.cabaret we also have a zoom bar on the night for a cheeky role play experience!!! 

Do you have any future plans in these uncertain times?
We have a project working with The Five Ring Circus which will premier in 2021 as part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations and will be performing at South Tyneside Festival!

We aim to keep adapting and producing work which is best suited for the climate. We also want to support the #blacklivesmatter movement through our platform and performance methods so perhaps we will figure a project best for that! 

What’s the first thing you are going to do when some level of normality returns?
A big huge party out on the town moor for everyone! Perhaps even a wee silent disco!

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