Hello,

Here you can read bite size chunks of my 

background, training and work history, in my own words.

Thank you for taking the time to have a look.

Bruce

My Journey

Art Kid Seeks Movement

The first artist I ever met was the painter Henry Bird. Visits with my mum to Henry's studio were inspiring childhood experiences.  My auntie and my mum were regular life models for Henry and I also modelled for Henry's safety curtain for the Theatre Royal, Northampton. So since 1978 I have been appearing on stage as a cherub! 

Whilst growing up, gymnastics and martial arts were the closest things I could find to dancing, performing or expressing myself the way I wanted to.  The term 'physical theatre' didn't enter my vocabulary until much later. My comprehensive school had no dance or drama available, so I took refuge in the art department.

Art College & Photography

After studying photography, art and design at Bournville Art College and West Surrey College of Art & Design, I moved to London. I had a lucky break and began working as a full time assistant for Martyn Thompson. At the time Martyn was a fashion/portrait/interiors photographer with clients such as Vogue etc,

For 3 years I travelled the world in style! I assisted Martyn on work for designer Ilse Crawford's book 'Sensual Home' and also on Martyn's first exhibition "Elsa Peretti in Sant Marti Vel" shown at Tiffany in London 1995. This involved spending a very inspiring week with Elsa Peretti - Jewellery Designer, muse for Halston, Studio 54 aficionado and a friend of Andy Warhol & Salvador Dali.

©Martyn Thompson

©Martyn Thompson

Lighting & Training

Whilst living in London I developed a passion for watching contemporary dance, physical theatre and circus. I ambitiously decided I wanted to make similar work. By 2000 photography had led me into a freelance career in Film & TV Lighting. I worked on TV Dramas, TV Shows, Pop Videos, Adverts and Documentaries as a lighting technician. Sometimes I would be in the role of Best Boy or Gaffer providing design support, logistical management and crew management. Most crucially this work provided the luxury of time and funds to pursue what I really wanted to do!  It enabled classes in flying and static trapeze, clowning, and other aerial classes at The Circus Space (now The National Centre for Circus Arts). It paid for many nights at Sadlers Wells, other venues and trips to Edinburgh Festival. It provided dance classes, workshops and full training in a contemporary style of theatre over a 7 year period with Jonathan Kay and The Nomadic Academy for Fools. 

Performing

I began performing as a static trapeze artist with The Swingin' Elvises in 2002. Between 2002 to 2007 I performed in various other aerial, walkabout acts/shows see Circus Arts & Street Theatre.

Since 2008 I have been a key collaborative artist with award winning company Copperdollar working on performances including the Arts Council England funded 'Gone in 20 minutes' tour, the National Theatre's 'Watch This Space' Festival for the 2012 Olympic celebrations and the immersive theatre venue 'The Back of Beyond' for Glastonbury Festival and The Old Market in Brighton.

From 2008 to 2011 I played many roles in a production of Shakespeare's Richard II directed by Jonathan Kay

Other work of note includes The Shakespearean Tea Room 2013-14 and The Penis Monologues, 2014-15

Hangar On

Between 2003-2006 I was a resident in 'The Hangar' in Stratford, a live/work rehearsal and training space run by Alex Frith and Nick Litton of Aircraft Circus (the company now based in The Hangar Arts Trust in Woolwich). Other Hangar residents were Canadian contact juggler Ryan Mellors,  Directors of aerial theatre company Ockhams Razor Alex Harvey, Charlotte Mooney, Tina Koch and Actor/Physical Performer/Choreographer/Singer Jami Quarrell (Colony Sarff in Dr Who). During this time I was able to learn loads, from lots of very generous people including those mentioned.

Directing & Producing Credits

2004 -2008 Director/Producer - What Goes Up 

2006 - Directed a re-staging of Circus Behind the Wall at The Al Kasabah Theatre for The Palestinian Circus School 

2007  Director/Producer - NOIR  with Airealism at The Albany Theatre.

2007 Director/Producer - Aerial theatre piece with What Goes Up for corporate event at Birmingham ICC 

2008 Directed a re-staged version of  NOIR for The Glastonbury Festival Big Top. 

2012 & 2013 Director/Producer Ready Steady Pop  

2014 & 2015 Additional direction for Foolsize Theatre 

2015 - Director/Producer -  Scrooge 

2015 - 20 Production management of 'The Sessions House Lounge'  venue.

2017/18/19 Producer  - Halloween Zombie Walk & Pumpkin Party community event

2018/19 Writer and Director 'Cinderella' for SLAPS - Community Theatre 

2019/20 Community Producer with the Different Light Collective - Spilsby Light Night

2019/20 Production Co-ordinator - SO Festival Community Stage and Activities Zone

2019 Venue Producer/Manager Alpaca Sound System - Bearded Theory Festival

2019 Director - Hambledon Productions 'Dracula - One Bloody Fang After Another' 

Spilsby's Sessions House Project and Spilsby Theatre. 

 

Arts Management

In 2011 I began volunteering time (together with fellow performer Jane Scott) to revive the closed Spilsby Theatre.  In 2013 myself and Jane were presented the East Lindsey Culture in the Community Award and East Lindsey Community Champions Award for our work. 

 

In 2015 Spilsby Theatre had to close due to a range of issues with the Grade II listed building (originally a Sessions House). Since then I have continued to volunteer time networking and growing a team of locally based, skilled people able to take on the challenge of transforming the building into a thriving community arts venue. Successful funding bids to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Theatres Trust have enabled the project to gain moment.  

 

I continue to support this work as  Managing Director of The Sessions House CIC.  

© Bruce Knight