INTERVIEW | Rebecca Rennison, Mimbre Company.

Mimbre is a fantastic female-led company that creates nuanced, breathtaking and highly skilled acrobatic theatre. Mimbre combines circus and dance innovatively as a physical language to illuminate human connections and promote a positive image of women. The company wants to use their work to build relationships with broad, non-traditional audiences and participants, creating unexpected moments in unusual spaces and restoring beauty within urban environments. 

Their newest production, The Exploded Circus will excite and amaze audiences throughout the UK  and coincides with the 250 anniversary of Circus. 

I caught up with one of the performers, Rebecca Rennison to chat about this fantastic new production from Mimbre but also about performing the disciplines of Circus. 


Rebecca, a LIPA graduate began her training specifically in Dance rather than Circus, "I formally started training and I went on to work for a circus in Germany after graduating from LIPA 7 years ago". She says she was encouraged by an aerialist, her partner at the time to try the trapeze. "I started training before and after shows and have been an aerialist since then". Whilst her main discipline is in Dance rather than Circus she does say that this "undoubtedly has helped me in my aerial work. I think it's something that you can pick up a little later in life if you train very hard and be persistent". 

The Exploded Circus is Rennison's first show with Mimbre and she has really thrived in the experience with them. "The process of making this show has been very collaborative and Lina (the show's director and joint Artistic Director for Mimbre) is very open to ideas and exploration. The cast is composed of women that come from very different disciplines so it's been really fun and challenging artistically to work with them". 

Out of the various disciplines within Circus, Rebecca's main discipline is in silks "but I try to be as multi-disciplinary as possible by training and working on other aerial skills such as hoops, rope, straps, and trapeze". Even though that is her main discipline The Exploded Circus offers her the opportunity to play with various skills, especially as she does different acts. "I like to consider myself as an aerial generalist, in my mind I work in the air so I want to be able to do as many things up there". 


Mimbre aims to challenge the predominant gendered roles in contemporary circus and I wanted to ask Rebecca how these were approached by the company. "I normally work with a multi-gendered cast but funnily enough this year both shows I've been in have been performed by an all-female cast. So I feel like this year, at least from my perspective, there have been more opportunities for women in circus which is terrific and lovely that it coincides with circus250."

Presenting such athletic work in a female-led company aren't "any different from a mixed gender company." Rebecca believes that Mimbre "face the same challenges as everyone in the sector, especially when creating a show". 

Mimbre's new production The Exploded Circus starts right after a big top has exploded and the explosion is frozen in time, "the set is amazing and intricate, with all of our props just hanging in the air. I think that already makes an impression". The piece weaves together a story without words, where six performers have to come together to seek new order in the chaos and create a new normal. "We're also six very different performers playing very different characters, so I think the audience can expect getting attached to us and to root for our stories". The Exploded Circus has striking imagery and subtle humour, making it suitable for the whole family. 

The Exploded Circus is an exciting show that you must go and see. "The set is unlike anything anyone's seen before, the mix of skills is amazing and energising" Rebecca explains, "The story is both sweet but also relevant to what we are going through politically and socially today too! I think the show will leave people feeling happy and hopeful. It asks questions but doesn't force an answer on anyone". 

If you'd like to see The Exploded Circus which is described as "From chaos comes hope" you can visit the company's website here for a list of the Tour Dates. 


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