Talking Circus: Circus and Access

19 January

Riverside Theatres
Rafferty’s Theatre
Corner Church and Market Streets
Parramatta 2150

19 January at 3.15pm

90 mins
Australia / UK


One of three panel discussions as part of the Circus City program exploring conversations around the circus arts and access for people with disability.

This will be a wide ranging discussion touching on the work being made by professional circus artists who identify as disabled in Australia. It will explore the opportunities that exist for young people with disability though youth circus schools around the country and reflect on the professional pathways and opportunities for circus artists with disability locally and internationally.

The panel, moderated by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo and featuring Sarah Houbolt, Ethan Hugh, Alison King, Loki Rickus and Joanna Wharton will ask some hard questions, while also expressing pride in an art form that has arguably been inclusive from its beginning.

Sarah Houbolt is a professional circus and physical theatre performer, access consultant and arts manager based in Sydney. Sarah has worked in the disability sector consistently and formally since 2005, in advocacy, community development, youth arts, group services, and most recently at Accessible Arts. Sarah trained in aerials, acrobatics and hula hoop with Vulcana Women’s Circus from 2001–2008, before working for six years internationally with circus and physical theatre companies in New Zealand.

Ethan Hugh is 13 years old. He performs in, and was a co-deviser of the Company 2 production Kaleidoscope. Ethan was born with Asperger’s Syndrome and a hearing impairment. Johanna Wharton, Ethan’s mother, described stepping into Ethan’s world as ‘the joy of walking through shafts of colour and light; a dazzling kaleidoscope’. She wrote a book about her experiences with Ethan that inspired the creation of the show, a work that allows Ethan to express himself, through a physical form he loves, circus.

Alison King is the Chief Executive of Turtle Key Arts in the UK, a performance arts company that devises and produces original work with a particular emphasis on making art available to all. Turtle Key Arts currently produce Ockham’s Razor, Amici dance theatre, Redcape Theatre, AIK productions, Smith dance, Joli Vyann and Slot Machine. They also run many outreach and participation projects in the fields of dementia, autism and dyslexia.

Lachlan ‘Loki’ Rickus has been performing in Adelaide, Australia and internationally for over 18 years. His training is in ballet, circus, gymnastics and musical theatre. Loki performed and worked with Cirkidz Youth Circus School (Adelaide) graduating in 2003 and then worked, trained and coached around Australia and overseas. Since breaking his neck in 2006 in a training accident Loki has taken back to the stage mixing his genres to create his own Cabaret Identity. Loki is a founding member of The Fair Ground Project which aims to facilitate access, research, and create professional performance.

Sarah-Vyne Vassallo is a creative director, choreographer and teacher and has worked across commercial and contemporary dance, theatre, television and community arts. Sarah-Vyne is a Winston Churchill Fellow, where she undertook research and professional development with world leaders in the field of integrated practice. She directed Bankstown Arts Centre’s, ‘Verve Ensemble’ a training and performance program for dancers with and without disability and has been a facilitator for the Sydney Opera House, professional development forum, ‘Engaging Students with Disability’. Sarah was formerly Arts Development Manager at Accessible Arts. Sarah-Vyne is the Artistic Director of newly established integrated performance company Murmuration.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

For a copy of the Circus City program, click here

Note: Please inform us of any access requirements when booking tickets by calling 1300 856 876.

Registered customers must sign in at least 15 minutes before the start time or their positions may be reallocated to another person.

Second Photo: Dylan Evans

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  • January 19, 03:15 PM - 04:45 PM
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