Standon Calling to the far-away clowns
Tuesday 21 May 2013
We've heard about audience participation, but this is ridiculous. Standon Calling is inviting punters to become a fully fledged part of the entertainment at the Hertfordshire-based festival this summer – by training them up as circus performers. By purchasing an extra £50 add-on ticket, attendees can rock up at the site two days early (Wednesday 31 July; camping and all other facilities will open specially for the purpose) and spend those days doing classes as part of the Standon People's Circus.
You'll be able to enjoy a pint in the on-site pub, The Strongman's Arms, between academic sessions including "the science of building a human pyramid", "the art of whipping", "conquer your fear of clowns", "art macabre life drawing" and a "circus smell safari". The art of illusion, fire-juggling and slack-rope walking will all be on the prospectus.
At the helm of the mayhem is circus legend Gerald Barclay Balding, the co-founder and ringmaster of Gifford's Circus, who has also worked with Cirque du Soleil. "The important thing is fun," he says. "It's contagious. We are going to introduce people to talents they may not know they have. If, when they leave, they have developed a taste for sawdust, who knows where it could take them."
Many who enrol will be offered the chance to perform alongside the professionals in the Big Top, in themed sideshows, and nestled in secret areas over the weekend. Friends and family of performers can also buy a £20 add-on ticket to get in early.
If you don't fancy performing, you can try a 90-minute trapeze class with the Gorilla Circus (or pay a few pounds for a single swing). "Flying through the air, 40 feet off the ground, gives you the best view of the site and is the most energetic way to be a part of the festival antics," claims trapeze tutor Ezra Trigg. Who are we to argue?
Standon Calling, 2-4 August, www.standon-calling.com
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie: Jared Leto's now more petrifying when out of his Joker make-up
Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
The Girl in the Spider's Web, David Lagercrantz, review: Stieg Larsson's heroes return in a thrilling new intrigue
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs