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Orchard School Bristol

Roll up! Roll up! Students’ work to form part of major circus exhibition at Bristol Museum

Published on 22/10/18

Fantastic opportunity to contribute to project

The modern circus has been entertaining people in Bristol for 250 years and to mark the anniversary, Orchard students are contributing to a major new exhibition at the city Museum and Art Gallery.


We have been chosen, along with Circomedia, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, to investigate and explore some of the characters, stories and events which have shaped circus heritage over the years.


Our ‘circus detectives’ started their research by visiting the Theatre Collection.  They interviewed local people about their memories of circus and later, visited the Bristol Museum to help plan how their work is going to be displayed at the museum. 


Year 9 Art students are also involved working on a project based on how clowns register their unique face makeup by painting it on a eggs that are stored in a clown register.  The heads they are creating will be displayed as part of the exhibition at the Bristol Museum.


A spokesperson for Local Learning, which has been working alongside  our students,  said: “Running an intergenerational project has been a positive way of breaking down barriers between younger and older people.

“The students at Orchard School in this project have learnt a huge amount from the experiences and encouragement of the local residents, whilst the students’ enthusiasm and wonder were something the local residents thoroughly enjoyed.”

Orchard student Archie interviewed Wendy and Angela, who shared their fascinating memories of the circus parade which took place every May bank holiday when they were younger. They also reminisced on watching Billy Smart’s Circus every Boxing day; a Christmas tradition.

Archie said that he enjoyed the chance to talk to someone of a much older age which was something people his age didn’t do too often.

Tiffany said that the project was an example of something which made people equally happy whatever generation they were part of.