In Once Upon a Time six older circus performers reflect on their lives at a point when ageing has started to have a physical impact on their bodies.
The nature and style of circus that these artists previously worked in differs greatly from much of the contemporary circus seen today, and this essential difference is worked into the social commentary of the piece. The aesthetic of the show will be stark and minimal, providing a contrast to the bright circus trucks and flamboyant costumes that audiences will associate with these performers.
The choreographer, Agnieszka Blonska, will work with the performers on exploring their physicality, looking at old routines, shapes, and acts, and supporting the artists to safely test their limits and re-engage with their bodies and their craft. Jules Bushell will work alongside Blonska to compose music that brings nuances of the old circus world into a modern, stark performance. The aim is also to find circus performers that have musical experience, and to incorporate live music into the show in the form of instruments and song.