+3 Interview: No Show

“I trained as an aerialist at the National Centre for Circus Arts and I know first hand how painful it can be to perform in the circus”

WHO: Ellie Dubois, Director

WHAT: “New contemporary all-female circus from award-winning director Ellie Dubois. What do you expect when you go to the circus? The glitzy smiles, the glitter of sequins, the drum rolls as performers effortlessly perform death-defying acts? No Show joyously and heartbreakingly reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship. There will be desperate attempts and heroic failures, glorious achievements, bruised bodies and egos. No Show goes behind the flawless smiles and perfect execution to showcase the wobbles, the pain, and the real cost of aiming for perfection. A show for anyone who has tried, failed and failed better.”

WHERE: Summerhall (Venue 26) 

WHEN: 16:15 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No. In 2015 I bought my circus show for one audience member at a time called Ringside to Summerhall. We had won the Autopsy award from The Arches and Summerhall to bring the show and it was brilliant to be able to show a piece of work that really couldn’t exist in the festival without their support.

We sold out, got great reviews and were nominated for a total theatre award for circus. Ringside has since been touring to amazing venues since we have been on the main stage at The Roundhouse, The Lowry in Manchester and York Theatre Royal which is amazing for a show made for one person at a time. We are now doing our first international touring going to France and Sweden after the fringe.

Tell us about your show.

No Show is contemporary circus and theatre hybrid featuring five astonishing and highly skilled female circus performers. Genuinely strong women. There will be breath-taking acrobatic feats, the rarely seen discipline of hair-hanging, brilliant Cyr Wheel, personal confessions, some sly humour and genuinely joyous moments. It’s a show suitable for family audiences as well as any one interested in contemporary theatre and looking to see British circus take a new direction.

I wanted to make a show that explores the expectations that we have both when we go to the circus and in particular our stereotypical view about female circus performers. The real strength of female circus performers that too often is behind the spangles. I trained as an aerialist at the National Centre for Circus Arts and I know first hand how painful it can be to perform in the circus. I was interested in looking at the pursuit of perfection and the inevitable failure that goes along side that. Normally when we go to the circus the performers are almost super human in their abilities so that they feel far away and untouchable to the audience. They are almost like gods and goddess. I wanted to make a show that allows the audience to gasp at the feats but also to see what it costs a circus performer to perform to such a high standard. The pain behind perfection. And the hidden bruises of the mind and body.

Created and directed by Ellie Dubois
Produced by Nicola Lawton
Performed by Francesca Hyde, Lisa Chudalla, Francesca Hyde, Michelle Ross and Alice Gilmartin

We were all bought together by Ellie who believed that they were the best team to make this show the best it can be.

We premiered at Platform in Glasgow in April 2017 and will be touring the UK in 2018.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

I have an 18 month old son so will be excited to see some of the high quality children theatre on offer. I am very excited to see The Polar Bears go up as I have heard they are excellent and I have wanted to catch them for ages and my son is very keen on bears.