WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Now I’ve retired from active performing and teaching, I write novels for young adults (suitable for grown ups, too) and in my role as Oceania Co-ordinator for World Circus Day I aim to increase the public’s awareness of circus as a vital, ever-changing and growing art-form in its many modern manifestations.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
I love all forms of live performance, particularly when it is married to live music, so I also push this barrow. I also like film (and tv sometimes) and in fact wrote, produced and co-directed a short-listed short film for Newcastle’s Shoot Out comp in 2008, a process I enjoyed very much. That same year I wrote, produced and directed an instructional DVD called Hula Hips©.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
Well, I think I started at the top – flying trapeze (Der Fliegenden Diamonds) on one of Europe’s biggest circuses, Zirkus Bush-Roland which, at that time, had a 4,000-seater 4-pole canvas tent. Being a founding member of Circus Oz was a milestone, and I’m extremely proud to have been the Associate Artistic Director, along with my husband Jim Robertson, and teacher, of the inaugural Flying Fruit Fly Circus. Tanya Lester performing my Spanish Web routine at the Cirque de Demain in Paris, and winning a special bursary prize, was pretty damn exciting, too.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Writing. Available now on lulu.com BUNTY ARMITAGE CIRCUS GIRL; TEMPO a Circus Romance; and coming soon, DEATH and the ACCIDENTAL DETECTIVE.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING?
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for risley and foot-juggling, but love flying trapeze and performing with any kind of horse act. Elephant riding is also something I enjoyed very much.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
I’m self-publishing at the moment with lulu.com but in 5 years time, before I’m absolutely ancient, I would love to have a legit publishing contract.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
To quote a female photographer whose name escapes me entirely, “Circus, celebrating the sheer joy of doing something perfectly useless perfectly” [Editor's note: earliest reference we could find for this quote was Jill Freedman]. Also the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, the parent body for World Circus Day, is about “… promoting the art of happiness.” I think both these statements just about sum up my feelings. Without happiness and the ability to just enjoy life, well ….