From our Artistic Director: In Krakow

It’s Sunday night in Krakow.  I’ve been here for a few days now, visiting the Ulica festival.  Ulica means ‘street’ in Polish and this is a festival of theatre on the streets and squares of Krakow.

I'm always looking for the best shows for next year at Bell Square, and I go to festivals to see around 25 shows in 3-4 days.  Festivals, though, are also a great opportunity to meet new artists and talk to other programmers, often from all over the world, and to be inspired by new ideas and new people.

From our Artistic Director: Media Manipulation & the Arab Spring

On 14 July, Catalan artists Insectotropics return to Bell Square with a performance of The Legend of the Burning Man.  This is a searching investigation into how our understanding of world events is manipulated by media.  It follows the story of how a local incident in a small, rural Tunisian town sparked protests and revolutions across an entire region that became known as The Arab Spring. 

Let's celebrate 250 years of circus!

FROM OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Introduction
2018 is the 250th anniversary of the circus and we’ll be celebrating with some fabulous events at Bell Square this summer!

The Birth of Circus
Despite circus being mentioned in Greek and Roman times, the word really only referred to the ‘circular’ amphitheatres used for public performances.  Circus as we know it started in London in 1768.

Bell Square starts the season with Akademi performing Sufi:Zen

Well wasn't May 19 just the perfect weather for a Royal Wedding and perhaps even an FA Cup Final? And of course, it was even more perfect for our first event of the year at Bell Square, featuring Akademi and the very popular Sufi:Zen.

You can check out the daytime performance in this Facebook Live video below - unusually the dancers were wearing shoes and the reason was because the black material on the staged area was very hot due to the sun beating down on it all day. The evening event proved to be a bit cooler and we were delighted to host large crowds for both events.

From our Artistic Director: A Preview of the Spring & Summer Season

Come to an amazing array of outdoor performance from the UK & abroad. Bell Square returns for 2018 with a packed programme of amazing outdoor performance.  

From May to August, you can see 8 world-class shows at our permanent outdoor arts space in Hounslow.

These extraordinary shows come from some of the best artists in the UK and from across Europe – in the first few months, we have shows from France and Italy, Belgium and Catalonia, as well as from the UK.  The programme also brings many other influences from around the world, including international choreographers and different cultural styles.

From our Artistic Director: Never Work with Animals!

In the depths of winter, the Bell Square events take a break.  On these cold, dark February days, my mind often wanders back to the balmy days of summer when we were out on the Square, remembering some of the shows, having chats with the audience, and working with some truly lovely artists. And it also wanders back sometimes to the little things that, just occasionally, didn’t go quite to plan…

A BEAUTIFUL POEM FROM BELL SQUARE AMBASSADOR CATHERINE

Our ever popular Winter Lights event was held at Bell Square recently - and as you can see from the photo gallery it's a dazzling and beautiful for everyone that comes along.  As always, it's a free event and everyone is welcome.

One of our Bell Square Ambassadors Catherine came along and was inspired to write this beautiful poem, read it in full below

A VIEW FROM BELL SQUARE'S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: STREET GAMES FROM BARCELONA

Guixot de 8 is a Spanish company that make street games.  Using recycled materials, they make original games in their workshop in Barcelona.  They pack the games into a van and go wherever they are invited.  They then set up the games in the street and play with anyone who wants to try their hand.

A View from Bell Square's Artistic Director: Stage or Street? Iron Skulls at Bell Square

Next up at Bell Square is Spanish dance company, Iron Skulls, with their show, Sinestesia

A few months ago, this show played at Sadlers Wells in central London, generally considered to be one of the world’s premier venues for international dance.  A review described the show as “fast, furious, streetwise and great fun” and “brilliant, high octane!” 

Regular attendee Eva talks about the ‘You’ve Been Bell Squared’ Effect

I remember my first visit to Bell Square was to watch Carousel last year – it was close to sunset and there was a actually a circus carousel in the middle of the brick-paved square.

I witnessed a most unusual phenomenon which transformed the local environment, brought people together for something really impactful and turned a normal day into something extraordinary.

An view from Bell Square's Artistic Director: Cia Ignifuga in London for the first time

Across Europe, there are many festivals of outdoor arts.  One of the biggest and most spectacular is Fira Tàrrega.  Every September, this tiny Catalan town in Northern Spain plays host to an extraordinary array of outdoor theatre, dance and circus.  With roots dating back to the 1930s, Fira Tàrrega attracts thousands of artists, audiences and programmers from across the world.  The annual trip to Tàrrega feels like a pilgrimage to the spiritual home of outdoor arts.