Each year for one week in October CIRCa takes over Auch, a small town in Southern France. Auch becomes circus central as tents are pitched in car parks, in front of the town’s cathedral and by the riverside and its inhabitants embrace it. For promoters it is the place to catch new shows, to network and attend project presentations.
Last year Crying Out Loud took its 9 Circus Evolution partners to the festival. This year, Katy Snelling, Programming Director at Oxford Playhouse returned.
‘I couldn’t quite believe that a year had passed when I found myself back in Auch last week. Having been guided around with 9 Circus Evolution partners last year I was flying solo this time, albeit it with masses of advice, support and translation services from Rachel and Axel at Crying Out Loud. This meant more shows and more artists. In fact 12 shows, in under 4 days, not quite Edinburgh levels of intensity but not far off – and in French. My out and out highlight was Malunés’ Forever, Happily… in which a troupe of acrobats and musicians present fairy tales but perhaps not quite as you know them, challenging stereotypes and clichés in an hilarious and refreshing manner. I also loved the revival of Plan B, which, despite being 13 years old, still felt incredibly dynamic, fresh and alive. Another must see was Petit Travers’ juggling game of hide and seek Dans les Plis du Paysage, which roughly translated means in the folds of the landscape. Throughout jugglers and drummers appeared and disappeared, as the show grew to a crescendo of white balls. And finally it was an absolute treat to see Arcobatique de Tanger’s Halka, a view of Moroccan culture and life displayed by 14 acrobatics and musicians at breath-taking speed. Now begins more conversations, partnerships and working out ways to fit the UK into busy touring schedules taking into consideration fluid, Brexit impacted budgets.’