Local Legend...Albert & Friends Instant Circus
Introducing our Haus Mates Tiggy & Greg
Workshop leaders at Albert & Friends Instant Circus
Albert & Friends Instant Circus is an incredible Fulham charity existing to develop the creative potential of young people. Our Haus Mates run a programme of circus and theatre arts for the youth of London irrespective of their socio-economic environment. Albert & Friends teach an extensive training programme covering acrobatics and aerial skills, music, movement, mime and drama. If you step into their workshops you could be dodging a unicycle, ducking to miss a trapeze artist or stumbling into a pile of juggling stacks!
Hello Tiggy & Greg!
How did you start up the circus?
The circus began in 1983 with a man called Ian, aka ‘Albert the Idiot’, which was his clown name. It began as a summer holiday project, whereby kids would come from Monday to Friday to learn skills then go on to show off these skills in various parts of Hammersmith. In 1997, Albert and Friends became a charity and has grown from there, with workshops in Hammersmith and Fulham, classes, outreach projects and a performing troop who have performed all over the world. Through the power of the circus, these kids are given the opportunity to achieve the unachievable. They go from being shy in some cases to exceptionally confident, which is a delight to witness and it can make us very emotional. All the people that work here grew up in the circus and have gone off to learn various different skills, which they then bring back to us; we teach them and they teach us, and they know the philosophy of the circus which is the most important thing. Passion and enthusiasm are also key!
What is your typical day?
Every day is different! Generally we start off in the office to sort out all the necessary paperwork, then go on to teach in all sorts of places such as special needs schools, youth clubs, youth offender institutions and occasionally at birthday and hen parties. We don’t have a set venue, just two sheds, two vans and we travel around, which is great as it keeps things fresh and interesting.
What is your top spot in Fulham?
I love Hammersmith Bridge! Having lived just two minutes away from it for most of my life, I go across it regularly and think it’s one of the best bridges in London – it’s very dramatic, has some great views and also some great pubs!
Help us celebrate our Haus Mates success at their smashing Christmas Fair and Cabaret event on Saturday 8th December (12pm – 5pm). Expect an afternoon of spectacular circus performances, gift and food stalls, mulled wine, circus workshops and much more!
Albert & Friends Instant Circus, we salute you!