16 put-ups! 50+ performances

Take A Chance

This was the first show in our new Blue Tent funded by ASW and a bunch of mates. The show was directed by Angela De Castro.

It was based on the game of Monotony - and the five cast members, representing the game pieces were called out of the audience by an MC (Toby making a brief appearance). Tom ( the sea captain) played the ship, Pete (the bad aristocrat) was the top hat, our new recruit Ruth Dawes (racy lad) played the sports car, Ali (old bag lady) was the boot and Richie (superhero hoseman) played the iron (cant remember the connection here!) The show contained the usual mix of circus theatre, bad jokes, political references, romance and triumph of good over evil.

This was a challenging year for the company who were touring on their own for the first time and having to step up on the administration front, learn how to manage a new tent and a fleet of ancient vehicles that broke down between nearly every venue. The first time we put the show in the tent we had to chop a foot of the Chinese pole because we had put the tent up too low! and of course the next venue when the tent was up properly, the pole was too short. We manged to raise £5000 by selling £10 bonds to our mates ( early pre-internet crowd funding) and we purchased some dodgy old seating and lighting from Circus Burlesque who had closed in 1990. Arts Play Umbrella also didn't tour in 1991 and we picked up a lot of the bookings we had worked on with and managed to do a 16 week tour of the UK.


Angela de Castro part 1 (23 mins)
Angela de Castro
Angela de Castro

Talking early shows, whipping the cast into shape, and sharing the love

Tim Adam Part 1 (10 mins)
Tim Adam

Tim talks Arts Play Umbrella, getting the blue tent up for the first time, pay cuts to employ Lurch and the first H&S Policy circa 1991 in Ayr

Gregoire Carel and Richie Smith


How to put up a circus tent Download ➝
Excerpt from the diary of a member of the audience Download ➝