So this year is the 250th year anniversary of circus, and we couldn’t let that go by without some celebration, so at the end of the year Skylight will be putting on a performance inspired by a famous circus show poster from Rochdale, that John Lennon took the name for the song ‘For the Benefit of Mr Kite’.

Prior to the show Skylight were lucky enough to receive funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund to research the history of circus in Rochdale, the aim was to make some display boards with the research we have found, a program to look through, find out peoples memories, see the sites of old circus and this could link into our performance. Some of our youth circus and a few Silver circus (over 55’s) have been working hard visiting Touchstones Rochdale and the Fairground and Circus Archives in Sheffield.

So far we have found lots of interesting information about how the animals were involved in the circus, names of acts, the famous Rochdale Black peas that would be served in tin cans! It’s been fascinating to see photographs dating back to the 19th Century of the Hippodrome in Rochdale and Elephants walking down the streets. The project has really opened the eyes of our youth circus, of just how much circus has changed over the years!

We are excited to start bringing the research together for people to see!