At least 42 performances


Sci Circus began life as Ali's real live business plan written while she was studying Arts Management at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Working in collaboration with Gaz Smith a freelance science communicator and long term friend of the company they decided to create a Science Circus for the blue tent with the aim of touring in 2002. Fortunately the plan turned into reality and the project received funding from Science Year.

Science Year was a Government initiative launched in September 2001 with the aims to improve the way in which science was viewed, taught and studied so that young people could engage more creatively with a future that was increasingly scientific and technological. The Year was launched with the Giant Jump – a scientific experiment which involved 1 million school children in the UK with an average weight of 7st 12lb jumping for a minute with scientists recording the results on seisometers. As scientists predicted there were no significant measurements except ‘a squiggle’ which was recorded in Cornwall!

Science Year was delivered for the Government through NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) who provided NoFit State Circus with a grant which enabled them to create a show that would bridge the boundaries been art and science and so the Sci-Circus of 2002 was born.

The science advisor for the Sci Circus was Gareth (Gaz) Smith who was described as “a lapsed biochemist who fell in love with hand-on exhibits as first sight of a Bernoulli Blower”. Gaz always had a strong desire to combine science with circus and now here was the opportunity to do just that.

A booklet was produced for Sci Circus which not only gave details of the cast and crew but also gave detailed explanation of each circus skill, the relationship to science, a “try this” paragraph and a “what’s happening” explanation. It also included visual puzzles.

Sci Circus was billed as “an adventure for all ages” It was a two-hour experience which brought science to life. Before the main event the audience could experience a variety of hands-on science exhibits and participate in science demonstrations. These included Zoetrope, Flip-flop-ophne, Lock up, the Magic Wand, Shoot and Ghosts. Each activity was accompanied by instructions of what to do and an explanation of the science behind it. However the as the introduction in the booket stated the purpose of the Sci Circus was not to explain every trick and illusion “as there should still be room for people to suspend the disbelief and immerse themselves in the fantasy of the show”.

The circus began its tour of the UK starting in Roath Park on 9th May 2002 and finishing 28 July 2002.

A further, small scale tour to rural venues, was funded by Wales Science Year. This began in Llandrindod Wells on 18th August followed by Llandodgo, Llangadog, Knighton and ended in Cwmbran on 30th August.

The South Wales Echo commented about the show: “The thought provoking theme, coupled with a healthy dose of slapstick comedy and brilliant circus skills, made for wonderful entertainment.

Some of the feedback from teachers about the show:

“Fascinating to see a large group to youngsters totally entertained for 2 hours”

“The children who came to see the Sci Circus were totally engaged, I have never seen them so spellbound by a show. Fantastic!”

The cartoons in the programme were done by Picasso Griffiths.


Atmospheric music for pre-show, by Peter Reynolds - Track 8


Nikki Andrews (16 mins)
Adam Cobley part 1 (18mins)
Adam Cobley
Adam Cobley

Talking getting hitched at the British Juggling Convention in Cardiff, the heady days of lighting without harnesses and Sci Circus

Tim Adam Part 3 (6 mins)
Tim Adam

Talking transition times, Autogeddon, acting lessons for the founder members courtesy of Jamie Garvin because according to the Arts Council (at that time) no one could bl**dy well act!!