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What's On

Shows

Wes Peden - Rollercoaster

Wes Peden juggling with a ball and a length of plastic tubing

Wes returns with one hour of unadulterated joy. Using the thrill and design of rollercoasters as a starting point for a performance of the most exhilarating juggling ever made.

Surrounded by huge inflatable blue structures and accompanied by electro beats composed of distorted rollercoaster sounds, Peden performs original tricks inspired by rollercoasters and their high-tech seatbelts.

A spinning plate ceremony becomes a celebration of the great rides of the past; an epic 3 ball disco juggling evokes the evolution of rollercoasters; a 4 meter transparent tube turns into a path around Wes' body to make balls flow through loops, helixes, and corkscrews.

Rollercoaster twists theatrical rules to create a safe space place to perform some of the most difficult and unique juggling ever done on stage!

Ariane Sophia - dis.cover

Ariane Sophia standing on a red and black skirt next to a juggling ball

dis.cover is a solo for one performer, three skirts and many balls. An intriguing game for the curious gaze.

dis.cover asks questions about the social construct of femininity: a multi-layered personality full of conflicts and paradoxes - a female body full of strange abilities and odd flaws. dis.cover is small, modest and quiet - it is also loud, wild and demanding.

Kathrin Wagner - I Was Told.

Kathrin Wagner balancing a ring on her face

I Was Told. is an interdisciplinary piece involving ring juggling and spoken word, which deals with the influence of language, in the literal and metaphorical sense, on the perception of oneself and others. The artist plays with, questions and manipulates how the audience and the artist herself perceive her as woman and performer on stage. Kathrin resolves the emerging identity conflict in an authentic, honest, humorous, and empowering manner.

Workshops

See the Workshops page for information about all the workshops that will be running throughout the week, including a load of workshops by Lost in Translation and Gandini Juggling.

Talks/Exhibitions

Steve Ward

We are very pleased to announce that we will be having talks by author, circodemic, historian, and founder of the National Association of Youth Circus, Mr. Steve Ward!

Steve has extensive knowledge of the history of circus and he'll be sharing some of the knowledge with us in three talks over the Wednesday and Thursday. The talks will be on:

Charlie Holland - Jugglers, Acrobats, Aerialists and Others - A Portrait Exhibition, 1850s–1900s

An old black-and-white photograph of four women in matching outfits

The latter half of the 19th century was a golden age for circus and music-hall performers and, thanks to technical innovations that allowed multiple prints to be produced, early photographs of artistes—well known and lesser known—surface occasionally.

This exhibition has a selection of original photographs with accompanying biographical information, compiled by Charlie Holland, giving an insight into the international lives of entertainers during this prosperous era in the West.

Charlie's illustrated talk, on Friday at 6pm in the lecture theatre, expands on the exhibition, the development of venues, and the international touring circuit.

Traders

Once again we'll have a selection of traders selling all sorts of juggling and circus related toys.

If you're interested in trading at BJC please email ali@gravityoutlaws.co.uk with the subject line "BJC2022".

Fight Night

Fight Night returns to BJC! Featuring some of the UK's (and further afield's) best jugglers battling it out for the BJC Fight Night Champion title! If you're not familiar with Fight Night you can get a taste with this video.

British Balloon Modelling Convention

Once again the British Balloon Modeling Convention (BBMC) will return with a balloon jam room and workshops throughout the event.

BYJOTY

The British Young Juggler of the Year will be returning to BJC and there's still space in the show for acts! Are you looking to show off your new act? Kickstart your future juggling career? Get booked for one day conventions? Simply want to have a go at performing? Then this is for you!

We are looking for young people to take part in the BYJOTY show. It's an evening where people gather to see the best young talent the UK has to offer.

As well as being an amazing show to be a part of, it's an incredible show to watch and see the young up-and-coming circus talent first-hand. Not to be missed!

Entrants must pre-register for the competition, be 21 or under, and be British-ish (at least resident in the UK).

UK National Whip Cracking Convention and Championship

Pete Gamble will be back running a host of Western Skills workshops including whip cracking, lasso spinning and throwing, bolas, and gun spinning, as well as The British Whip Cracking Championship. And if you ask him nicely, Pete might also run his ever-popular lockpicking workshop!

There are no charges for the workshops or to compete, but any voluntary contributions given will go to support the struggle in Ukraine.

Whip and Western Skills workshops

Daily from Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th April, 11am–3pm

Includes whip cracking for beginners to advanced, lasso spinning and throwing, bolas, LassoLoop, gun spinning and other shenanigans, and knife and axe throwing courtesy of the Essex Backyard Throwers.

Loan equipment is available for all activities.

Whip Cracking Championship

Saturday 16th April, 10am–2pm

The Championship format will celebrate our release from COVID and be fun-based with no prize whips or medals, just the bragging rights!

Pre-register for the Championship if you can please but if you just turn up, that's cool and groovy too.

The Ladybird Project

Brightly-coloured sign reading "The Ladybird" in front of a red circus tent

The Ladybird Project are joining us with their wonderful brand of chaos and fun for the young and the young at heart! There will be activities like Water Cricket, Disney Dance off, Tug of War, Box Forts, Circus Olympics, and more!

For those who love dressing up, they wanted everyone to know their themes for the day so you could dress to impress!

Remember that under 12s go free (but have to have their adults with them).

Spinning@

People relaxing and playing board games in a tent

Spinning@ is a group of jugglers, spinners, object manipulators, and circus people that have been meeting weekly in London since 2002.

Over the years they have grown and invested in building the "Spinning@ chill out space" which visits various juggling events and circus conventions throughout the UK, bringing a strong social aspect and feeling of community to any event it arrives at. This is a 120m² marquee filled with twinkly LED lighting, decorations and comfy surroundings. There will be board games, fancy dress, chilled music, and an atmosphere of relaxing fun and silliness.

The chill out space is a lovely place to sit, chat, meet new and old friends, and watch the convention action unfold.

Unicycle Skills

Unicycle Skills will be providing unicycle games, competitions such as Sumo and freestyle, beginner and advanced workshops, and a demonstration of different unicycle disciplines.