Crying Out Loud was founded in 2002 by producer-curator Rachel Clare, supported by a Promoters Award from the Combined Arts Department at Arts Council England. Rachel, alongside then co-director Emma Gladstone, had a vision to make a new annual season of international visual performance in London. The company is based at Somerset House with a core team and an expanding pool of regularly collaborating freelancers.
The company has evolved over the years, but maintained an aesthetic of memorable, extraordinary and visual work that crosses art-form boundaries.
Since its inception, Crying Out Loud has toured productions, created development opportunities for artists, curated seasons and festivals, founded networks and developed one-off special events.
Notable successes include introducing the work of seminal international artists to the UK, including French artists James Thierrée’s Compagnie du Hanneton, Collectif AOC, Company XY, CirkVOST, Jeanne Mordoj, Company Non Nova, Capilotractées, L’Insomnante, Raphaëlle Boitel, Alice Allart and Aurélia Thierrée and Victoria Thierrée; Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger from Morocco; Italy’s Company TPO; Race Horse Company from Finland; Laika and Inne Goris from Belgium and Gandini Juggling and Rose English from the UK. Homegrown success includes the successful support and development of the British based company Pirates of the Carabina and their hit show, Flown as well as Nikki & JD, Stopgap Dance Company, Acrojou, Sophia Clist, Layla Rosa, Marawa the Amazing, Iona Kewney, Maresa von Stockert and Barely Methodical Troupe.
Crying Out Loud is a founder-members of seven circus networks: the UK wide strategic touring partnership: Circus Evolution, Circostrada, Fresh Arts Coalition Europe (FACE), the London venue network City Circ, the European journalist’s residency program Unpack the Arts, the Anglo-French PASS: Circus Channel and the pan-European CircusNext (previously Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe).
SECTOR & ARTIST DEVELOPMENT
The development of the contemporary circus scene has always been integral to Crying Out Loud’s work. The CircusNext (formerly Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe) scheme has developed the work of artists all over Europe. Crying Out Loud’s Pipped at the Post scheme aided professional development with seven artists. The City Circ network programme developed into the UK circus showcase Canvas. The PIP (Performance in Progress) scheme which ran from 2003 – 2007 developed UK artists and their work including Tom Morris and Guy Dartnell’s Oogly Boogly; Sophia Clist, Craig Vear and Nick Burge’s Stretch; Simon Parker’s Vex; Layla Rosa’s What If…?, Inne Goris’ Dregs and Blind Summit’s Call of the Wild. Through the PASS network, Crying Out Loud has provided development opportunities for Little Bulb Theatre, Niki McCretton, Stopgap, Pirates of the Carabina and Barely Methodical Troupe.
Most recently, Crying Out Loud teamed up with NoFit State Circus to deliver Spotlight UK Circus – a showcase that aimed to raise the profile of UK contemporary circus on the international scene funded by Arts Council England International Showcasing fund.
Other activities include curating family events for Manchester International Festival – The Great Outdoors in 2007 and 2009 and Music Boxes in 2011; The first circus season Circus Front at London’s Roundhouse in 2007; Freetime at Somerset House from 2000 to 2008; Piccadilly Circus Circus a huge site specific event which formed part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012; British Eccentricity! a site specific, comical promenade through Cirque Jules Verne; In partnership with Summerhall, Crying Out Loud premiered Jeanne Mordoj’s La Poème at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 and Circus Sampler, two free weekends of circus, music and hip hop at Somerset House as part of the 250th anniversary of the creation of the first ‘modern’ circus in 2018.
In 2007 Crying Out Loud became an Arts Council England Regularly Funded Organisation and in 2012, our tenth anniversary, we joined the ranks of the National Portfolio Organisations.
In 2017 COL was nominated for the Peter Brook Awards’ Dan Crawford Innovation Award.