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Circus in the Tea Cup 2021

    Circus in the Tea Cup 2021

    In 2021 Circus in a Tea Cup ran as a four month long project in which 11 survivors of gender based violence attended weekly sessions at Vulcana. Learning, training and rehearsing together these women shared their stories of truth, hurt and resilience. Brought together by co-directors Celia White and Michelle Grant-Iramu the project culminated in a performance held at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC from the 16th-18th of December.

    Celia White Michelle Grant-Iramu

    Anja Kapelski, Liz John, Tess Raby, Kiki Devgun, Maddie Henaway, Claudia Baxter, Sarah Murphy, Crystal Kowald, Sally Walker, Colleen Odendahl, Grace Law, Chloe Callistemon, Ash Jones, Natalie Lazaroo

    Ensemble member: Louise de la Haye
    Child care: Pei Ying Chen
    Videographer: Paris Owen
    Costume design: Lil Crump
    Lighting designer: Sarah O’Neill
    Circus rigger: Helen Clifford
    Production Manager: Abbey Church
    Stage Assistants: Mayu Muto & Elyse Fitzpatrick
    Graphic design: Grace Law
    Headshots & photos in hero image: Chloe Callistemon
    Production images: Jade Ellis
    Rehearsal images: Nadia Jade

    Directors Notes

    Circus in a Tea Cup has been a 4-month journey of collaboration and creation for our ensemble members and theatre makers. The sharing and learning of circus and movement skills has been a powerful connector for the performers from the Vulcana circus community and the performers who bring their own truths as survivors of domestic violence. 

    The work is situated in a domestic setting – a site that evokes familiarity and one that is overlayed by societal narratives of safety, security and trust. Yet this has always been a contested space where the experiences of women defy these understandings.  

    The motifs and images that appear throughout this performance importantly remind us of the duplicity of these spaces while also harnessing our power to change the story. Domestic objects that resonate with past stories are disrupted and reinvented, transformed on the performers’ own terms through the surreal and extraordinary nature of circus.

    The ensemble has had the courage to be vulnerable and invite you in to witness the small objects in their lives that provide meaning and facilitate strength. The intimacy of these personal moments intersects with the collective nature of this work – where creating space for shared understanding is also about sharing the weight of collective action. We are all complicit.

    It has been a privilege to work with these performers, to face together the challenge of integrating their skills with their stories of strength and survival, and to watch the ensemble emerge.

    Michelle Grant-Iramu and Celia White

    In 2021 Circus in a Tea Cup was supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland
    and through Brisbane Domestic Violence Service – Micah Projects.