Class clowns encouraged at Derry circus school

2023-06-10 05:57:49  • 3 mins

By Matt Fox


A performance arts group is aiming to breathe life into a heritage building in Londonderry by turning it into a circus school.

In Your Space Circus (IYSC) works with more than 120 people a week.

It has been awarded 140,000 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the Old Cathedral School.

The Victorian-era building is to be leased by the neighbouring St Columb's Cathedral and the group intends to develop it into a circus arts venue.

IYSC's programmes involve circus skills, street theatre, visual arts, music, costume-making and theatre.

Its director Cath McBride said: "We have been searching for a suitable home for the past 10 years, which has been challenging due to the unique requirements of circus.

"We feel privileged to have become the custodians of one of Derry's most stunning heritage assets.

"We could not be more delighted with this opportunity."

What is a circus school?

The terminology "circus school" may conjure up an image of Homer Simpson enrolling to Krusty's Clown College but in reality it is a phrase that entered the mainstream during the late 20th Century when contemporary circus rose in popularity.

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