Circus sessions for youngsters in Devizes

This Is Wiltshire: The Natural Theatre Company, which will be training Devizes youngsters in arts skills for the town’s street festival in August The Natural Theatre Company, which will be training Devizes youngsters in arts skills for the town’s street festival in August

Young people from Devizes are being offered the chance to join a street performance or circus act, thanks to Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts (DOCA).

The organisation, which now runs Devizes Carnival, the August Bank Holiday Monday street festival and the Christmas Festival, has received funding from Corsham’s Pound Arts Centre for workshops to teach 12 to 18-year-olds circus skills such as stilt walking, juggling or trapeze.

It is not the first time local youngsters have been given the chance to take part in the town’s international street festival, which attracts thousands of people from all over the UK.

Two years ago the Bath-based Natural Theatre Company taught youngsters how to be Coneheads, the famous aliens who descend on towns and see everyday things as astonishing.

Now young people are being invited to take part in a project with Bristol’s Circomedia circus school, learning the skills needed to perform in a real circus.

Alternatively, they can learn all about street theatre with the Natural Theatre Company.

Jo Beal, formerly arts officer at Kennet District Council and now returning as outdoor arts manager at DOCA, said: “There will even be a chance to do some shows with the Naturals at festivals including Devizes International Street Festival and the Bath Fringe.”

Workshops will take place during the spring and summer, starting in May with a free taster.

To sign up, email info@devizes carnival.co.uk or call Ms Beal on 07880 239598. Find out more at www.devizescarnival.co.uk DOCA has also appealed for more volunteers to help it organise the three big events in the town.

Volunteer work includes liaising with the performance artists during the street festival and assisting Santa at his grotto during the Christmas Festival.

Anyone interested can make contact through the details above.

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