NEWS: Extraordinary Bodies at The Fire Station, Sunderland



Renowned radical circus performance company Extraordinary Bodies bring their sensational, poetic and ground-breaking new show to The Fire Station Auditorium in May. ‘Human’ expresses the small moments of life that shape us. The stage is set with a trapeze, circus rope and a set of drums that the performers use to convey delightful stories of their lives alongside dance, original music and film. Music and binaural sound are played to the audience through silent disco headphones. All the performances are relaxed, BSL-interpreted, captioned and audio described. Extraordinary Bodies is a collaboration between Cirque Bijou and Diverse City, who have worked together for the last decade creating multi-disciplinary circus shows with disabled and non-disabled artists. Their work pushes the boundaries of music, film, circus and theatre. Extraordinary Bodies make circus for every body, embedding creative access techniques in the work from the outset, including sign language interpretation, captioning and audio description. Four performers tell stories from their lives, from their childhoods to the last 24 months. They share their stories of uncertainty about times of big decisions and about getting through things together through the visual spectacle of circus. The character of ‘Circus’ arrives in the show, interrupting the performers as she has fallen on hard times. The poetry of ‘Circus’ weaves through the show, becoming part of the storytelling, and her bravery speaks to everyone. The show is written by Hattie Naylor and the live score is by Ted Barnes. Performing artists Tilly Lee-Kronick and Jonny Leitch are a unique circus double act. They combine wheelchair dance, floor work on hands and new aerial doubles choreography. Performer Jonny Leitch said: “The relationship and artistry I have with Tilly has always stemmed from us exploring new or wacky ideas on the trapeze or other circus equipment. We explore storytelling in new ways through movement. The equipment that facilitates our artistic expression is essential to communicating with our audience and encourages us to be even more innovative in our performance. Human gets to the heart of how we are all feeling right now and I can't wait to share it.” Claire Hodgson MBE, Artistic Director, Extraordinary Bodies said:Human is a poetic record of our time. Weaving together real-life stories through circus, combined with our use of technology, we have created a show that connects with its audiences in a soothing, sublime, immersive way. It was important for us to work with our performers in a way that suited them and make a show that is accessible without compromise. With Extraordinary Bodies, we can experiment and develop work that is genre-defying as well as gravity-defying.” Helen Green, Head of Performance for Sunderland Culture said: ‘We are so proud and excited to welcome this unique company to Sunderland with Human, a truly astonishing mix of circus, film and music. Extraordinary Bodies had such a wonderful time when they last visited Sunderland performing at The Tall Ships Festival in 2018 that we have forged a great partnership which will see them return to Sunderland.’ After each performance, as part of the show, the audience is encouraged to meet some of the team informally and ask questions about what they’ve seen and share their own stories about what it means to them to be human. Human is on tour around the UK during 2022 and alongside the live performance, audiences at home can also enjoy a cinema quality film version of Human.

To find out more visit https://www.extraordinarybodies.org.uk/our-work/human/ For more info and to buy tickets visit: https://thefirestation.org.uk