Let us introduce you to New Vic Theatre’s biggest and most ambitious show to date – Astley’s Astounding Adventures which takes centre-stage at the theatre-in-the-round from Saturday, 7 July until Sat, 28 July celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Circus. The production is set to shine a spotlight on Newcastle-under-Lyme’s local hero Philip Astley (the father of modern day circus) and his astonishing artform which went on to become the phenomenon it is today, with circus travelling to all corners of the globe, crossing languages, cultures and continents.
Photo credit : Clara Lou Photography
Written by Staffordshire-born Frazer Flintham and directed by New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins, Astley’s Astounding Adventures combines the thrill of the circus with the uniqueness of theatre in-the-round and tells the story of equestrian, entrepreneur and showman Philip Astley’s extraordinary life – from humble beginnings in Newcastle-under-Lyme, to drawing out the first circus ring in 1768 and filling it with astonishing acts, creating the worldwide phenomenon that captured the hearts of millions across the world.
The show will be bursting with fast-paced action, humour, gripping drama, breath-taking acrobatic skills and music performed live on stage, Astley’s Astounding Adventures will be brought to life by a cast of 16 actors, musicians, circus performers and aerialists.
Danielle Bird Patty Jones
Gareth Cassidy Clown
Jason Eddy Charles Hughes
Michael Hugo Zipper
Nickcolia King-N’Da John Astley and Clown
Luke Murphy Clown
Andrew Pollard Clown
Nicholas Richardson Philip Astley
Photo credit : Clara Lou Photography
How long is the show on for?
The show will start this Saturday and continue until 28 July 2018. There will be evening performance at 7.30pm and matinees on selected dates at 2.15pm. For full timing details visit New Vic Theatre’s website.
How much are the tickets?
Tickets are priced from £14.50 to £24.00 (concessions and family tickets available) and can be booked online here or by calling Box Office on 01782 717962. A transaction fee of £1.00 per ticket applies when booking online.
Where is New Vic Theatre?
About The Victoria Theatre
The Victoria Theatre Company was the first professional company in Britain to perform permanently in the round – that is, with the audience on all sides of the acting area. Today, The New Vic is known both for its professional productions and for its award-winning work in the community. The company’s first base was Scarborough from which it toured to towns without their own theatres, taking the ‘theatre’ with it – raked platforms providing in-the-round seating for 250. Newcastle-under-Lyme was visited regularly and a permanent North Staffordshire home was planned. On 9 October 1962, a converted cinema opened its doors as a theatre, an event that received no mention in the national press. In 1983 an appeal was launched to raise funds for a new theatre. With local donations totalling over £1 million, the New Vic opened in August 1986. In the years since, the New Vic’s work has developed an increased national and international reach with productions transferring to London and Manchester, and partnerships formed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre Studio.
About Circus Past, Present and Future
The New Vic’s Circus Past, Present and Future programme has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme. NoFit State Circus’ production of Lexicon is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Arts Council England. Circus Past Present and Future has been created by the New Vic in partnership with NoFit State Circus, Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Brampton Museum and Art Gallery, The Philip Astley Project, Circus Works, Circus Futures, Roundhouse, London, The University of Sheffield, Upswing, Circus 250 and the New Vic led Creative People and Places Programme, Appetite. More information about Philip Astley and his extraordinary legacy is available from The Philip Astley Project and the Van Buren Organisation.
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