Interview With…Annabel Carberry

The Co-Director of Lost in Translation chatted to us about the company’s London tour.


Hi Annabel – could you tell me more about your London tour? It’s really a London year for us – such a great way to get back to touring! It is the first time we have performed away from our base in Norwich since the pandemic started, so it’s very exciting. We started with bringing our big top to the Wandsworth Arts Fringe in Kings George Park, its staying as the WAF big top venue from 25th June – 3 rd July. We presented a showing of our new show Above, which went incredibly well and was so well received by audiences which was such a great way to
start the summer. The big top will host dance, theatre, community groups and circus workshops as
well as a cabaret that we produced in collaboration with Katharine Arnold, with London based
cabaret artists to celebrate the return to live performance. Alongside this, we performed another
cabaret at the Phoenix Arts Club, a great London cabaret venue in the West End in collaboration
with Jacksons Lane Theatre, who we love working with.

We’re also taking our show Hotel Paradiso to the Rose Theatre in Kingston as part of the International Youth Arts Festival. It’s a beautiful theatre and our first time there, so that’s very exciting. The last time we did Hotel Paradiso for a live audience was in Adelaide Fringe, where we literally arrived back home the day of lockdown, so it’s great to dust it off and get it out in front of people again. From there we move onto the Underbelly Festival in Cavendish Square in the Spiegel tent with Hotel Paradiso for a run until the beginning of August. It’s great to be working with
Underbelly again as we regularly work with them at the Edinburgh Fringe. As the fringe couldn’t
happen last year it’s wonderful to be back in their London festival instead.

We then have some touring away from London: in Manchester with our tent, back in Norwich with
our tent for the INTERLUDE in the CLOSE with Norwich Theatre, and then touring around the country
with a new show produced by Jacksons Lane Theatre. Watch this space for more details on this
upcoming production! Then we come back to London to bring our wonderful show A Circus Carol to Jacksons Lane’s newly refurbished venue in December. This is a really wonderful way to finish to the year for us as whilst
we have produced and performed A Circus Carol over the past two years in Norwich, we have never
taken it on tour as it was premiered shortly before the pandemic hit. It was so well received by
Norwich audiences, so we are really keen to get it out there and see how London audiences
respond. We really will have done every type of venue by the end of our London season, from our big top, to
different sized theatres, to a cabaret venue and a Spiegel tent. I don’t think we have ever done so
much touring in London in one year, its clearly the place to be in 2021!

How does it feel to be able to perform in front of a live audience again? In a word…fantastic! I was watching our new show in the tent the other day and it was just great to be IN the audience again. We have worked really hard last year and were very lucky in many ways. We have managed to keep work, performing, training and keep our team together more than almost any other circus company. We haven’t had the same disconnect from the experience of performing and creating that so many artists have had, and for this we feel very fortunate, but its great being on tour again. We have a few new artists who have only joined us since Covid, so it will be their first
time being on tour with us which is a bit of a new beginning. It was wonderful to get Above out there
as it has had a big delay in its development, and it was so great that it went so well as a first run.

What would you say makes being part of a circus so special? The people, the team spirit, the hands-on-ness and the fact that everyone pitches and does everything together such as building cool structures. It’s also the fact that you get to see lots of really different places and meet lots of interesting people. In the work that we do there is this wonderful combination between the adrenaline of the physical risk combined with the emotional
expressivity of the theatre, that is a really full all-in experience to perform, there’s nothing like it.

Congratulations on the company’s 10th anniversary – how does it feel to be marking that
It’s a great opportunity to actually take stock and realise the huge amount that we have achieved in
that time. We never really take the time to do that, and having that milestone does help to prompt
that reflection and celebration. It does really feel like an achievement, you kind of forget how far
you have come when you are just in the middle of everything all the time. It’s been 10 years of
struggle, tears, joy, pride, creativity, a massive amount of learning and a huge amount of work, and
despite the pandemic we have adapted and survived and are moving forward, which is in itself a
great achievement. I think one of the best things for me is to understand all the people that have
helped to make the last 10 years happen and reflect on how they have come in and out of the
journey and how a few have been with us all along the way, which is really incredible. A company is
driven by the people leading it, but it couldn’t happen without the hard work, creativity and support
of so many others along the way.

What are you most looking forward about doing this tour? I think just the experience of being on tour again, being in front of different audiences, and bringing the new team closer together as they go through all the ups and downs of being on tour. We are also really enjoying being able to get the newer shows on tour and be able to go through the journey of watching them grow.

By Emma Clarendon

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