By Rebecca Radcliffe
Full time course students at Greentop Circus show off comedy and emotional performances in their end of year show based on the theme of heartbreak. 25-year-old Lia Barton who has been circus training for four years, is just one of the students whose part of the show is set to tug on some heartstrings.
Try Sheffield went to talk to Lia about how she got involved with circus skills and what to expect from this months show. “There are a lot of different stages to love, such as the flirtatious period, the serious bit, then that bomb where your left crying, not wanting to get out of bed, and then the healing. I’ve gone through that myself recently so my piece of the show relates to that. So healings the bit I want to focus on, the bit where you get over it,” says Lia. It seems as though circus skills aren’t all the happy clowns and blasts of colour that people think it is.
Students who have worked on captivating performances about ducks, motorbikes, shadows and street gangs have said the show is going to be a ’emotional journey.’
“I was rehearsing yesterday and I was close to tears. Something gets deep in to you digging at your feelings. It’s also therapeutic,”
Lia was doing a degree at Manchester University until the stress of dissertations and writing essays led her to a hool a hoop class where she could be more chilled out and learn new skills.
“I then started doing performances out of university, and people started asking me to teach for money, that really shocked me. Then I started getting more performances and gigs which was when I realised I could actually make a living out of this.”
Recently, she took on an Artist Development Programme where she performed a 15 minute piece based on shadows and transformation which was received well. She was then encouraged to get some funding to do training, she applied but didn’t think she would get it.
“It was absolutely mental when I found out that I’d got it and got on the course. It’s the first time of doing my own show which is called Wandering Shadows where it’s just me, the light, a screen and the circus.”
Lia’s show is based on girls that are away from home for the first time. So she defiantly has a very busy time ahead of her with Greentops Heartbreak show kicking off this weekend.
“There’s 14 of us in this show and we’ve already had 12 weeks together working on physical techniques training and tricks. And now were in the middle of our two-week rehearsals where we work every day with our director Gerry Flanagan.” The cast of the heartbreak show only have one day off to recharge as they are back to practicing straight after their day of rest, and are back to the bruising and aching.
“I can do the splits, but sometimes I just can’t walk. It’s very physically demanding but it’s with such amazing people who you trust and who you can spend days been creative with.”
It also seem clear that this tight unit of students who work hard to perfect their skills and tricks, are very supportive of each other.
“Whilst rehearsing you see a lot of each other, you live and work with these people, it’s very intense, you share a lot infront of them. There are no egos, you sweat, cry and laugh infront of them.”
“We’ve worked really hard and have been committed for three months and have rehearsed it over and over, there is a lot of emotion gone in to it with some really funny, sad and exciting bits.”