Pocklington Arts Centre to stream Magic Carpet Theatre’s clown show Magic Circus

Jon Marshall as the Ringmaster and Steve Collison as a clown in Magic Carpet Theatre’s Magic Circus

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre is to stream Magic Carpet Theatre’s show Magic Circus from December 19, available online for up to seven days.

Thanks to a grant of £4,100 from the East Yorkshire’s I Am Fund, via the HEY Smile Foundation, the Hull company performed both Magic Circus and The Wizard Of Castle Magic behind closed doors at PAC, filmed by Pocklington production company Digifish. 

Families accessing the People’s Pantry food banks in Pocklington, Market Weighton and Holme-on-Spalding-Moor will be the first to receive an exclusive free link to watch Magic Circus, or a free DVD copy of the show, before it is rolled out to other food banks across the East Riding. 

PAC director Janet Farmer says: “With our national reputation for presenting high-quality children’s theatre and workshops, we have really missed being able to offer our family theatre programme to our audiences this year, especially at a time when we would traditionally be enjoying the build-up to our popular pantomime. 

“So, we are delighted to be able to bring the magic and joy of live theatre to our younger audiences through the power of live streaming.” 

Janet continues: “The funding we have secured will enable us to develop an enhanced online presence, with the long-term aim being to see sustained arts engagement from younger generations during the pandemic and increased attendance at PAC events when we are eventually able to re-open our doors. We are extremely grateful to the I Am Fund and the HEY Smile Foundation for making this possible.  

“We hope the show will bring a bit of happiness and cheer to families after what has been an incredibly tough year and we think it makes for the perfect run-up to Christmas.”

PAC plans to release The Wizard Of Castle Magic in time for February half-term, and as part of the project too, PAC intends to offer online workshops next year. 

Magic Carpet Theatre are Pocklington Arts Centre favourites, noted for their circus skills, magic and audience participation, and have staged numerous sold-out events there.

“We hope the show will bring a bit of happiness and cheer to families after what has been an incredibly tough year,” says Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer

Directed by Jon Marshall with music by Geoff Hardisty and effects by Theatrical Pyrotechnics, the first online show, Magic Circus, is a fast-moving, colourful story that combines magical illusions, comedy, circus skills and puppets.

It tells the humorous tale of what happens to the ringmaster’s planned extravaganza after the artistes and elephants fail to arrive and everything has to be left in the hands of the clowns. Disaster!

Inevitably, they make a fantastically messy job of it as Magic Carpet Theatre take traditional circus and variety skills, dust them down and invest them with new life, moulding them into a mystifying hour-long play with a circus theme.

The second show, The Wizard Of Castle Magic, based on the traditional Sorcerer’s Apprentice tale, will enchant audiences aged three to 11 and their families with a script full of comedy, illusion and special theatrical effects. 

Heather Davidson, chair of the People’s Pantry for Pocklington, Market Weighton and Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, says: “We are delighted that our families will be among the first to get exclusive access to these shows. 

“It’s just really nice to offer them something else at Christmas other than a food parcel. While we are looking after the food parcel side of things, PAC is looking after the social side of things, which will hopefully bring a little bit of happiness to families that need it at this time of year.”

Magic Circus can be watched online for free on the Pocklington Arts Centre YouTube channel from 2.30pm on Saturday(19/12/2020).

The Wizard Of Castle Magic will be available to stream via YouTube from 2.30pm on Thursday, February 18 2021. 

Donations in support of Pocklington Arts Centre can be made at: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/magic-carpet-theatre

Pocklington Arts Centre boosted by £4,100 funding for autumn digital theatre project

“The project will see both Pocklington Arts Centre and its audience members, new and old, go on a journey as it evolves the way it presents its artistic output,” says venue manager Janet Farmer

POCKLINGTON Arts Centre has been awarded a £4,100 grant from East Yorkshire’s I Am Fund for a digital theatre project this autumn.

The Market Place venue, with its track record for presenting high-quality children’s theatre and workshops, will work with Hull company Magic Carpet Theatre and DigiFish Film & Animation to stage two online family theatre productions with accompanying online workshops and social-media content.

Magic Carpet specialise in circus skills, magic and audience participation and have a long-standing relationship with Pocklington Arts Centre, having staged numerous sold-out events there.

The new productions and follow-up content will be made free with optional donations, removing any economic barriers from children and families accessing the resources.

Venue director Janet Farmer says: “The funding will enable us to have an enhanced online presence for families and young people, open up new programming opportunities for Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) and will allow us to support venue staff, alongside regional artists and creative partners, in these difficult times.

“The project will see both PAC and its audience members, new and old, go on a journey as it evolves the way it presents its artistic output. The long-term aim is to see sustained arts engagement, during the closure/Covid period and beyond, from younger generations and increased attendance at PAC events.

“We are extremely grateful to the I Am Fund and Smile Foundation for their support on this application and we look forward to delivering a highly successful programme of events.”

The I Am Fund was established with funding from the will of the late Audrey Mosey, an East Riding resident with a passion for the arts. The fund is part of the Hull and East Yorkshire Smile Foundation, which, alongside the fund committee that includes Pocklington resident Andrew Bowden, aims to support performers and inspire future stars, while also helping East Riding residents to benefit from what the performing arts have to offer.

Andrew Barber, chief executive officer of Smile, says: “This is one of many grants that are being invested into the arts community across East Yorkshire. We recognise the value that venues such as the Pocklington Arts Centre have to play in supporting and inspiring young people to connect, participate and perform in the arts.

“The committee, led by friends of Audrey, with the support of Smile, look forward to hearing how the funding makes a difference in Pocklington and surrounding areas.”