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Our building in 1990 - before its transformation from derelict power station to circus school.
On September 21 we’re opening our doors as part of Open House 2014 - offering a chance to visit our spectacular building and hear the story of its transformation from Victorian electricity generating station to circus school. Whether you know the National Centre for Circus Arts well, or have never ventured inside before, Open House will give you the opportunity to find out more about our building’s fascinating history as Shoreditch Electric Light Station.

The building opened as an electric light station opened 1896 and was the first to successfully generate electricity from the destruction of domestic waste. The site had lain semi-derelict for decades when, in the early 90s, a group of circus artists saw potential in its cavernous halls. Extensive restoration and reconstruction converted the building into what is now one of Europe’s leading circus training facilities.

Come and visit.


Every time I do a shoot it seems to get more and more difficult to follow my own rules and pick out just one image to represent it.

I know why I picked the rule and still agree with it. It forces me to consider a lot more than ‘Ooh! Pretty!’. It ensures that I don’t go for a scatter-gun approach and end up with too many shots that don’t get properly looked at. FriendLiz - my most often photography compadre joke about ‘awesome fatigue’. Especially when looking at fire pics.

If I put up all of the awesome from the three fellas above - Beren D’Amico, Louis Gift, and Charlie Wheeler, altogether Barely Methodical Troupe - then you’d get what I mean. There are a few builds up on my Flickr account which I haven’t picked out. They are excellent and showcase the versatile talent of the fellas, but for this project, Yoga Shiva below covers my abilities to put together a built image.

I haven’t, by the way, picked out the final image above. I thought it worth sharing as it shows the beaten-up, exhausted state that one ends up in at or near the end of a Fringe run. Yes, that’s a black eye on Beren, Louis casually mentioned ‘nearly tearing off my toe’ about a minute later and I believe Charie had some kind of ‘bashed rib’. Circus is probably the extreme edge for what performers put their bodies through, but I think everyone who’s done August in Edinburgh will be able to relate! Not the most flattering picture of them there will ever be, but fellas I hope you take it as the tribute it’s meant. Thank you for giving up your time and energy at the end of demanding month.

Left to right above, Beren D’Amico, Louis Gift and Charlie Wheeler form Barely Methodical Troupe. Their Fringe show ‘Bromance’, produced by DREAM with support from Udderbelly and NCCA won the Total Theatre & Jackson’s Lane Award for Circus at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014. (Deservedly bloody so!)


They are also a part of the larger ‘Circulus’ troupe, recently featured on both Tumble and Blue Peter.


and are graduates of the National Centre for Circus Arts



Nos, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Bending my rules once again - a shot for each and one altogether.

No. 9 - Beren D’Amico - ‘Depth’

No. 10 - Charlie Wheeler - ‘Pre-Flight’

No. 11 - Louis Gift - ‘Clockwise’

No. 12 - Barely Methodical Troupe ‘Bro-Balance’


And, because I couldn’t help it, I’ve put a few more up on my Flickr stream.

Some lovely pics of our graduates Barely Methodical Troupe by iwanttotakeyourphoto

Shared Instagram video: Heres my Standing Back Tuck from our studio rehearsal on last weeks @bbcone #Tumble !! Can you can tell I’m happy!!?? Haa !! So, apparently this takes a newbie years to figure out … Somehow I’ve managed to do this in less than a week thanks to @ajjerrom & @hollycj91 !! They are AWESOME !!! 😀😀💪💪 by ianhwatkins at National Centre for Circus Arts