Late 1980s to 2008
The Buddle Arts Centre, Wallsend, had a few circus workshops in the late 80s early 90s but it wasn’t until 2003 when it began to develop as a Circus Incubation space. This was made possible by Joe Price, Black Box, who negotiated the use of the North Wing of the building with the local Arts Officer Mike Campbell. For the next few years the following individuals and fledgling circus organisations had a key to the building and practically 24 hour access, storage and training space: Initially there were, Karen Bell & Dafe Bullock who created their time machine show with the use of the workshop; Helen Averley, who taught aerial to Lynn Campbell, Rachel Kurtz & Jo Templey (Bare Toed Dance Co.); in 2004 these four formed Hang Aerial Dance & created 4 Shows: Sirens & Sailors, Buzz off Very & Get Knotted; Sophie & Jacob McGrath developed as Dream State Circus and their Busking Festivals in conjunction with Black Box. The Council through their Arts team supported artists initiatives with grants or commissioned work for outreach. Later arrivals included Random Mike, Charlie Carpenter, Steve Cousins as well as Edd Muir & Vicki Carlin (who formed Frayed Knot and took over from Joe when he left in 2007). Many workshops were taught there and some of those who had their first touches of circus at the Buddle have gone into the industry. Of the children who spent their lives whilst their while parents trained, several are now also performers with in the Five Ring Circus inc: Freya Averley, Wilf Campbell, Sophia Lawson.