• Fuse Medway Festival

    World Famous & Scarabeus, Focal Point | photo: Fuse Medway Festival

    Stretching its activities over the clustered Medway towns (the historic towns) of Rochester, Gillingham and Chatham, Fuse Medway is a compact, weekend street arts festival that programmes a lot of small-scale outdoor circus work, and the odd long piece in the evening. Programming tastes run to the sweet, the silly and the spectacular, and Fuse often ends a weekend by drawing audiences down to the river for a final flourish (one year, impressively, a pyrotechnics and aerial show on a 40-metre steel-hulled lightship).

    An exciting prospect for the festival's future is the ongoing development of Slip 6, a creation centre based at Chatham's Historic Dockyard that will potentially be able to commission or support work that appears at Fuse.

    « Part of the relationship between Fuse and Slip 6 will be Fuse providing a presentation platform for work that's created. Now that's not to say that everything that's created in the space is going to appear at Fuse – that's not practical. But certainly we want to be able to use it as a platform and make sure strategically certain projects are geared up towards Fuse – so the one and the other kind of feed in and out of each other and influence each other and it all becomes part of one lovely cycle. »

    Kate Hazel, Fuse Medway Festival Artistic Director (October 2010)

  • Magazine

    By John Ellingsworth on 6 December 2010 in Features

    Sideshow pays a visit to Slip 6, a 19th Century warehouse in Chatham's Historic Dockyard, once used to build and launch ships, now the shell-home of a new creation centre with big aspirations.

    'Being realistic we're not going to attract half a million, a million Pounds worth of funding – which, you know, two years ago we might have been able to. But while there is the La Brèche model, these other places like Atelier 231, these French centres that people hold up, they actually started out in a fairly rudimentary state and have been developed over the years and through many residencies.'

    By John Ellingsworth on 13 June 2009 in Reviews

    Stilt-walking has always been the most lavishly costumed circus discipline—a lot of times the pleasure is in seeing the bespoke detailing and the ways in which the weaknesses of stilts (the need to cover up the legs, the jerky movement) have become strengths of the design (cloven hooves for pegs, insectile limbs, giant stilt robots, etcetera).