The First Hastings Community Circus Luvley Juggly Circus Convention

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St Mary in the Castle, Hastings


Tasj, Beth & I caught the train in & met up with Kevin & family at the venue, Danny & Catherine, Pete, Tom & James also showed up from TWJC. Here's some of what went on.

The Venue was simply superb. We took over St Mary in the Castle's lovely semi ampitheatre type hall with a large central floor & high balconies. Those nice folks from Beard made the venue even better by filling one corner with their wares. A common comment was the quality of the toilets, they were beautiful, really unconvention-like. It was great to be close to the sea too, we all walked along the beach or along the cliffs at some point. Some of us got a little closer to the sea than others.

The multi level club passing was fun, the venue management actually wanted us to hurl clubs wildly towards their expensive stage lighting. Andy Dinsdale & I lead the way & we actually got quite good after a while. It was much harder for the one on the lower floor, it took quite a hefty throw (quads I think) to reach your partner & the return passes came down with a lot of force. We also had a go at a five club cascade, where Andy would catch my triples & drop a flat down in its place. Judging by how far Andy had to lean out to grab my throws maybe a safety harness might be a good idea for next time round.

We all spent a lot of time admiring the skill of Anton. Five clubs on singles, doubles & triples, some nice three club high/low shower stuff & a great over the shoulder roll trick amongst lots of other things. His best throw of the day though was undoubtedly the one involving a paper plane & an unsuspecting member of the public just before the show.

Only Beth would think it a wise idea to try & tackle James into the sea in early February. She came back saturated & with her sleeves trailing on the floor.

Helena & Big Gray did lots of ring passing stuff, I liked Gray's back heel which almost worked. Helena also showed me some very well executed clubswinging snake moves. Fantastic to watch painful to do.

Several 'Bop It' toys were seen, I had a couple of goes & managed to quickly develop Tarim's aversion to the things. Danny Colyer seemed to be the true champion, managing to play the thing with various twists & spins between each turn. At first I admired him for the amount of practise & dedication he must have put in. After a little more thought I pitied him for the amount of practise & dedication he must have put in.

Continuing with the toy theme, Beard were selling bright yellow swingamajigs, or catch the ball in the cup thingies. These have three different cups though & an absurdly difficult spike to skewer through the hole. Guess who managed to skewer three times in a row in front of witnesses :-) (It was a lot easier than Anton's club rolls)

The Show in a Paragraph

Compered by Richard Vobes we were first introduced to the kids of Hastings Community Circus who presented juggling with balls, flower sticks & poi they all showed lots of confidence & looked like they really enjoyed being on stage. Stuart Clark did some yo yoing, swinging a glass of orange juice inside a triangle on the end of a string, jumping through a lasso rope & escaped from a straight jacket, all to a constant supply of gags. I liked the bit where he set up a music stand placed his sheet of paper on it & started bouncing five balls, then he stopped, turned the sheet over & started toss juggling. Hatstand aka Helena & Big Gray performed three spots in the show the first of which was a whip cracking act with a nervously squeaking Tarim being plucked from the audience to hold the sheet of newspaper (& it was one tough piece of newspaper). Didn't Helena look great? HCC also performed a nice piece based around two guys learning to juggle from a Haggis-style teach yourself video displayed on two giant TV sets. The instructors managed to teach the viewers to juggle, but failed to sell their next video.I thought the passing between the two TVs was funny. Richard Vobes did a spot involving a little of his brilliant robotics. He then went onto having a concrete slab on his stomach smashed with a sledge hammer & then lying on a bed of nails with Big Chris (20st) standing on his chest. Nasty. The adults of HCC came on to pick on poor young Joe by continually stealing his props, he got his own back by chasing them away with a lethal set of axes though. Hatstand came on again to show us some lovely ring passing & juggling combined with a bit of acrobalance & showed us lots of things to try on Tuesday. More from HCC this time some three way club passing, some cigar boxing with lots of snappy takeouts & under the leg stuff, my favourite though was the seven ball bounce passing. Noice. Hatstand finished the show with a UV spot, Gray wore his costume which is as awesome as it is stripey. Lots of club swinging, ribbon twirling, globall juggling & some very enthusiastic two staff swinging. Pity about all the flash photography though. In all a very enjoyable show, something Hastings Community Circus should be proud of.

The Games

I should've won the first round of three ball gladiators. Rule no 1: Never assume that the other person has dropped. I made up for it in the second round. We all enjoyed throwing our diabolos at Mark, it wasn't until the third round that I realised we were supposed to be aiming for the bucket he was holding. The cutest game of the day was the under sixteen two in one hand gladiators, it came down to two kids, one juggled a 40, the other juggled a 404022 :-) When it came down to the last three in the uni gladiators Danny thought he'd pick on the youngest one to set up a spectacular showdown with his old sparring partner Beth. He should've learnt from my complacency.

Many thanks to Beard for donating a generous range of prizes for each event.

Very well done to all at Hastings Community Circus, especially Ann & Mark for organising a great festival. There were a few niggles, the cafe was a bit too expensive, prior to the event it was a job to gather all the information I wanted (there was a bit on the poster, a bit on the JIS etc. maybe this was why I was the only one who preregistered?) & the people on the door didn't seem to be fully filled in on what to do. I had a brilliant day though, the pass makes a great little momento of the day & I can't wait for the next one.