Acrojou Circus Theatre
German Wheel artists of the apocalypse. Pretty much the only UK practitioners working with German Wheel, Acrojou are Jeni Barnard and Barney White, graduates of London's Circus Space. Alongside smaller works and the walkabout piece The Wheel House – which sees the inner circle of their wheel fitted out with cupboards, a desk, a door and a window, Jeni and Barney dirt-smeared and dressed in hotch-potch clothing, clambering out every now and then to roll their unusual vehicle through a dusty, featureless world – they've been working for several years on their first full-length theatre show, Wake.
'A squally clouded-over day, then, to accompany the revival of Greenwich Fair, a hoary old tradition in Greenwich Park which, until it was banned a century and a half ago, annually saw the erection of open-air markets, lurid theatres, bandstands, fairground rides, penny shies, and insalubrious premises (licensed and unlicensed), to accommodate a sudden competitive influx of entertainers, musicians, hawkers, and exotic beast-tamers—plus of course the roiling crowds of audience/punters/buyers/marks who came to be amused by the dreadful melodramas, fleeced by the mountebanks, and psychically obliterated by liquor.'
A round-up of the action at Greenwich + Docklands Festival 2011, with work by Acrojou Circus Theatre, Elastic Theatre, Company FZ, and others.
Fuse Medway, City of London, Glastonbury, Watch This Space, Greenwich + Docklands, Surge, Theatre Meadows, Stockton International Riverside, Edinburgh Fringe, The Big Splash...
Sideshow boils and reduces the summer festival programmes into one combined guide.
Duvets and white linen lie in trails and heaps about the studio. Jeni Barnard and Barney White, Acrojou, have fed an elongated hatstand through the centre of their German Wheel and are lashing it to the bars. Fixing the stand, the bottom half of which looks like it might be the inner tube of a carpet roll, the two push the Wheel up onto a low pedestal. You can see how heavy it is—more or less a thick steel ladder worked into a circle, the German Wheel rolls easy on the flat but has to be heaved up an incline.