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ISACS Member - Lumen Street Theatre
ISACS Member - Lumen Street Theatre at Limerick Circus250 Parade | Photography Sean Curtin
Date: Thursday, 1st November 2018
Time: 11 am - 12:30 pm
Where: Wexford Arts Centre
Tickets: Free registration on Eventbrite

circus 250 focus 3

The Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS) are delighted to host, what promises to be a fascinating panel discussion in the glorious Wexford Arts Centre, looking at the extraordinary journey of the art form of Circus.

2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Modern Circus as we know it today. In 1768, one Philip Astley began his career as an entertainment impresario and entrepreneur, when he drew out the first circus ring in the centre of London and filled it with an array of equestrian skills and performances. This soon transformed into what is widely regarded today as the birth of Modern Circus.


Event Programme

Our guests for this event, come from a diverse range of interests and present varied approaches to integrating other art forms with circus today: from Opera to Digital Arts, Traditional to Futuristic , this art form is constantly shifting, changing and re-imagining, taking its audiences on new adventures and all the while pushing the boundaries of risk and human endeavor.

Join the ISACS CEO – Lucy Medlycott, for a lively conversation with guests:


Elizabeth Burns – Arts Officer for Wexford County Council, will launch the Irish Street Art, Circus and Spectacle Network’s Strategic plan for 2019 – 2021, directly after the talk and all are welcome to join us for some light refreshments at this significant occasion.

This event is generously supported by the Wexford County Council Arts Department, and the ISACS Network is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Event speakers


Dea Birkett 

Ringmistress of the Circus 250 celebrations, ROI and UK

Dea Birkett

Dea Birkett, a former circus artiste, founded and is Ringmaster of Circus250, the UK and Ireland-wide celebration of 250 years of circus in 2018. An established broadcaster, Dea recently made Who Killed the Circus? for BBC World Service, an hour-long documentary on the end of Ringling Brothers circus. Circus Days, Circus Nights, an hour-long documentary for Channel4 on Dea’s experiences of circus work. Dea has introduced and edited Circus250 – the official brochure, documenting the history and current practice of circus in Ireland.

She is an award-winning writer and journalist, author of seven books including Serpent in Paradise and Off the Beaten Track. Three Centuries of Women Travellers. She is a contributor to the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and a wide range of publications on circus, as well as a regular commentator for the BBC and Irish radio stations. She is Creative Director of ManyRiversFilms, a BAFTA-winning film company, making challenging dramas and documentaries.

ISACS profile | Women in Circus | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Ria Murphy

Aerial Artist, Vertical Dancer & Digital Media collaborator of Aerial Cirque

large Ria Murphy 2018

Ria Murphy is an Irish aerialist and the founder of Aerial Cirque, a performance organisation and Dublin studio catering to both professional and budding aerialists. She specialises in vertical dance and producing site-specific and outdoor public spectacle. As an aerial dancer, she has worked nationally and internationally, touring as far as Japan and Central America. 

She has a background in both science and the arts (degree in Biochemistry and Cellular biology, minor in Theatre) and quickly took the artistic route upon graduating. She began producing travel documentaries for Travel Channel UK and gained extensive experience in bringing together collaborative teams. She said 'It’s an eclectic mix to draw on, but my past careers have given me the knowledge to create my own aerial artwork, often incorporating science and technology.'

More on Ria:

ISACS profile | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 


Ronan Brady

Cross artform Circus Performer with Fidget Feet / ThisisPopBaby / Taking Flight.

Ronan brady 2018

Ronan is a diverse and exceptionally talented physical performer, aerialist and hoop artist who is recognised internationally for his expertise with the Cyr wheel. Through Anomaly Performance, Ronan develops new physical performances such as aerial wheel, aerial straps, duo trapeze and offers specialised entertainment for corporate events, experiential brand activity and festivals.

Ronan has toured the globe with THISISPOPBABY sensational show #RIOT and has been achieving outstanding and deserved recognition for his highly skilled work with his doubles trapeze partner, Aisling Ní Cheallaigh. Their recent show “How to Square a Circle” is testament to that. 

More on Ronan:

ISACS profile | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Tara Gerbola 

Proprietor of Traditional Family Circus - Circus Gerbola

 tara gerbola 2018

Tara is firstly mother to three beautiful children - Blake, Michael,  and Isabella; married to Michael Gerbola who specialises in clowning as his family has done for generations. Tara is also a former Trapeze Artist but now concentrates solely on the adventure of Circus Gerbola a touring traditional circus now in operation since 2001.

She is passionate about her work dedicated and excited by her vision of creating quality live shows presenting them in towns and cities all over Ireland.

More on Tara:

ISACS profile | Women in Circus | Website | Facebook | Instagram


Charlotte Mooney

Contemporary Circus artist and Opera collaborator - Ockhams Razor, UK.

Charlotte Mooney

Charlotte Mooney is Co-Artistic Director of contemporary circus company Ockham’s Razor. She has been devising, directing and performing with the company for 14 years. Their 6 shows have toured nationally and internationally garnering awards, and critical acclaim. In 2007 Charlotte was one of the original members of the skills ensemble in the ENO and Met production of Philip Glass’ Opera Satyagraha directed and designed by Improbable theatre. She has reprised this role several times most recently this year with the ENO. As well as working as a circus director on numerous projects she also guest lectures on the MA at Circomedia and BA at NCCA.


RSVP your seat on Eventbrite.

Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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