BA Degree Devised Performances 2023

Thurs 29th June-1st July

A warm welcome

Welcome to our BA Devised Performances 2023.

We hope you enjoy the devised pieces crafted and performed by our wonderful BA students.

Tonight’s performance will be opened by our Foundation Degree Year 1 students in their ensemble. Directed by Michaela O’Connor.

Cast: Tula Alred, Ellie Beale, Amelia Bridgwater, Oskar Brightman, Tomas Briones Rojas, Ruby Buchanan, Parker Calvert, Rosie Carr, Alice Collins, Drew Feely, Macy Fenwick, Xélia Froidevaux, Jonathan Goh, Becca Inel, Amelia Laughlin, Freya Lindeck, Freddie Maw, Emma Moon Pechey, Lucy Potter, Willow Saville-Hippely, Alfie Sherwood, Chrys Shipley, Clementine Tonkin Wells, Grace Tonkin Wells, Emma van Buuren, Katie Williamson, Daria Zubilewicz.

As you will know, this has been a challenging year for National Centre. Please feel free to make a donation here and thank you as always for you continued support.

Enjoy the show!

The man in the moon

Who is he?
Does he dance among the stars
Or is he like you and me
A human with human problems
Does he stay up there and watch us from up high
Or maybe he’s the drunk guy you pass on a Friday night
Too wasted to know if he lives on the streets or in the sky


Alex Richardson-Vokes

Discipline: Hula Hoop


A selfish deep dive into self reflection. Over 2 years in London I’ve had to relearn my position in this world and the effects of being surrounded by more than a simple village. From exploring pre-made decisions that are put upon me to the views I must believe about how I look and who I am. A goal was made at the end of second year and that was to prove there is always more to understand, we aren’t always simple and set in a way forced on us.
*Contains references to violence and explicate language.
Lauren Gibbs
Discipline: Straps.

If this was my world, it would be nonsense

This piece is a twist on the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. I have created a world of nonsense where nothing is normal. I would love to bring you on this adventure with me. Let’s take a trip down the rabbit hole into this new world.
Be prepared to be stunned, confused and curious all at the same time.
Thank you to for everyone at NCCA for the past three years.
Ruby Rayment & Ayla Graham
Discipline: Doubles Trapeze

What a dream!

“Where am I? Who are you? Do I need to pee? Why are you staring at me? Don’t look at me! Am I dreaming? Stop laughing! Are YOU dreaming? Stop crying! Yep, I need to pee. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”

Ania Gianattasio Blanco

Ania has trained at NCCA for 3 years and previously did a 2-year course at Carampa Circus School in Madrid.

Majors in Aerial Hoop & Hair Hang.

Other Skills include: Clowning, Silks, Juggling, Contortionism.

Instagram: @ania_msb

Just one more chapter

To the girl,

Who reads by flashlight or hidden at work,

Seeing not words but strange worlds as she sits on a train,

who knows magic is real between sips of her tea,

and who falls for the winged faerie, vampire or wolf,

Who is completely lost now,

Or perhaps she is found.

In this strange paper world

Far from the ground.

This is for you.

Lauren McDonnell

Lauren has trained for 2 years at NCCA and prior to this, graduated with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Drama with Musical Theatre and Aerial Dance from Edge Hill University. Lauren has a background of cheerleading and gymnastics, as a Level 6 flyer, competing at World championships and other international and national competitions. Lauren has 16 years’ experience as an elite gymnast at Harrow School of Gymnastics.

Majors in Single Point Trapeze.

Other Skills include: Single Point Trapeze, Doubles Trapeze, Acrobatics, singing & dancing training.

Instagram  @laurenmcd.circus



Longarms was aptly named after being born with much too long arms for a baby.

It started off slight, finger tips reaching the ends of her toes then growing and growing until she could almost touch the sky.

You know what they say about people with long arms? They can give big hugs.

But only, there is no one for her to hug.

Ashamed of their long armed baby her parents sent her off to a clinic to be studied for her anomaly. And this is where we meet her.

Locked up in white walls and kept warm by her own wrapping arms, Longarms lives out her day unknowingly under the watchful eyes of all of you out there. Observing.


Danyna Mearns

Dani Mearns is a contemporary circus artist who has been training and performing for 6 years. She specialises in Aerial Straps and Aerial Hoop, and comes from a martial arts, and dance background.

Majors in Aerial Straps.

Other skills include: Aerial Hoop, Contortion, Acrobatics.

Instagram: @dani.mrns

Where did they go?

A piece inspired by everyone’s most feared Doctor Who creatures, the weeping angels. A demonstration of the fear response you may feel when confronted by these beings, will you fight, will you freeze or will you get out of there as quickly as possible? Exploring how tension can be built with sound and lighting or lack of.


Sophia Dennis

Sophia’s past training includes competing in Artistic Gymnastics for over 10 years before coaching and competing in Cheerleading for 7 years. 

Majors in Chinese Pole.

Instagram: @sophiaxdennis




Molly’s devised piece is based on the chaotic persona and inner workings of the brain of the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

Don’t move
Don’t speak
Don’t breath
I’m trying to think…….
Elementary, my dear Watson

Molly Ashby

Molly is a dynamic static trapeze performer at the National Centre for Circus Arts. Molly originally trained in Nottingham at Tuyo Circus Arts. She is a generalist and dancer who has performed across the UK.

Majors in Static Trapeze.

Other skills include: Aerial hoop, Dance Trapeze, Aerial Silks/Rope, Aerial Loops, Acro Dance.



Broken? Abandoned? Lost?

No one knows what happened for sure

A porcelain doll, strangely obscure

Her cracked complexion, scarring her skin

Hardly hinting at what’s within                                                                                                                    

What lies behind those glassy eyes?

Is what you see just a disguise?

She’s empty inside, discarded, misplaced

A vacant expression upon her face

Emotionless, blank and upsettingly hollow,

Who knows what else could possibly follow?


Emily Odunsi

Majors in Aerial Hoop & Teeterboard.

Other skills include: Teeterboard, Aerial, Tumbling and Gymnastics.

Instagram: @odunsi.circus


Have you ever gotten lost in your thoughts, letting your mind wander into daydreaming without any sense of time passing, and then suddenly, a bunch of thoughts flood your mind over and over again? This piece reflects a personal experience. How does the process of getting lost in a moment daydreaming of playfulness, a duet with your thoughts, a dance in partnership? How that can be affected by the overthinking process getting tangled in your mind? Where worries and concerns repeat over and over again.

I would like the audience to come with me through this process using the interaction and manipulation of objects to reflect this connection, and fight against your mind creating a path of images during the act.

Alvaro Grande Casillas.

Majors in Juggling.

Other skills include: Aerial Silks.



Eric is an interdisciplinary circus artist and will be collaborating with a live musician. He will be crossing the borders between the art forms, bringing a performance where the beat of the drum amplifies the rhythm of his movement quality. It will be a dance between musician and circus performer. By collaborating with the musician, it will be a tool to harness the feelings of anxiety/restriction and transferring these emotions towards love and surrender.

Vida Blenkhorn

Discipline: Silks


You're not here

I watched from the side lines, too young to understand, to help. Too scared to be anything but a fly on the wall. I watched you count down your days as you tired to numb the pain. My screams are silent as I watched you hide the best parts of yourself, a flutter of hope when they came out in little pieces. When you wanted a hot chocolate or when you were giggling about jokes only we understand. You numbed the pain and lost yourself completely. I watched you find the courage to fight on, I watched you win. I wonder if you remember your addiction the way I do.

Luna Reid

Discipline: Aerial Hoop


Breathe me in. Lose yourself in my eyes, my tongue, my kiss. But be sure to hold onto that breath.

Your eyes, so full of lust, overflowing with desire. You have me right where you want me.

Deeper, we venture. You become undone.

Faster, we sink. Down, down, down to the deep blue depths.

Are your lungs burning yet?

You reach for me, drunk just from one kiss. Desperate for more.

I am to be your demise. Not so clever now. Panic glistens in your eyes because I can still rise, right up to the surface. But you’re stuck down here, ready and waiting to be devoured.

Amma Dixon

Discipline: Rope

Daring To Follow The Tide

Imagine you’re in the ocean and your toes are only just touching the floor, and every time a wave hits you it goes up your nose and into your mouth and you feel like you going to drown. But the water isn’t inherently bad, if you have a flotation device, or just learn how to swim.

After years of straightening your clothes and trying to look like everyone else, you realise maybe you’re just not made the same way, and if you learn to embrace the things that make you different, you can create things that make you very proud.

Cuba Blenkhorn

Discipline: Links

National Centre Staff

Production Team

Tom Albu– Production Manager

Katherine Arnold– Producer

Matt Burch– Head Rigger

Craig Byrne – Sound Designer

Mark Dymock – Lighting Designer

Louis Gift- FD1 Acro Consultant

Sunni Jolly– Deputy Tech Manager

Aime Neeme – Company Stage Manager

Emily May Sions – Costume Designer, BA Design Consultant

Bex Snell – Deputy Stage Manager

BA (Hons) Teaching Team

Katharine Arnold

Mick Barnfather

Neus Gil Cortes

Will Davis

Alexander Dobrynin

Inaki Fernandez Sastre

Ruby Gaskell

Louis Gift

Lydia Harper

Leo Hedman

Ian Marchant

Charlotte Mooney

Amy Panter

Hauk Pattison

Jacob Smart

Higher Education Team

Adrian Porter- Head of Higher Education Delivery

Stevie Taylor – Head of Academic Administration

Martha Harrison – Programme Strand Manager

Amy Welbourn – Programme Strand Manager

Michaela O’Connor – Programme Strand Manager

Antigone Exton-White – Student Support Manager

Joanna Young – Admissions and Registry Manager