Sparrow Hill Circus Show



"A brilliant and inclusive playful performance"


– Audience Member

"The energy was incredible! Wow!"


– Audience Member

"Stunning performances!"

"I loved the mix of ages - it shows that anyone can have a go!"

"Performing in St Chad's Parish Church was amazing!"

"We loved, the music, costumes, lights & everything!"

Thank you to local audiences!

Your support was incredible x

Sparrow Hill Circus Show

We were thrilled to gain project funding from Arts Council England to co-create Sparrow Hill Circus Show for local participants and audiences in Rochdale. The first phase of this exciting local project began with with our National Heritage Lottery Funded Project. We researched the heritage, histories and mysteries of Sparrow Hill to create a giant pop up book for story telling events.  We uncovered some fascinating local facts from the mystery of the moving stones to circus sessions in Broadfield Park!  Read about our special discoveries here!

We then worked with a large cast of professional and community performers to create Sparrow Hill Circus Show for performance in our stunning Parish Church of St Chad’s. The project was directed by Gil Burns working alongside our guest  Associate Director, Grania Pickard.  We were also excited to work with students from the University of Salford’s technical theatre degree course and designer Kerith Ogden.  Photography by Ian Hodgson Video and Media production by Dawn Pierson, Music composed and produced by Steve Broomhead. Live music was performed by talented local young musicians “Chords and Fiddles”

Rehearsals began with a special master class from Grania Pickard.

“Wow, we loved the masterclass, we were so inspired to include ideas the show!”

Martine Bradford, Creative Director 

The book of inspiration!

Our giant story book featured in the show. The book was made by our members in sessions with artist Kerith Ogden. 

Can you see Sparrow Hill steps and Packer Spout?  Maybe you’ve tried the stocks or leaned on the wonky tree at the top of the steps?


St Chad’s Parish Church

As the show developed, our brilliant project manager Mick Chapman, made many visits to the church. Much time was spent measuring, moving and counting chairs!  St Chad’s is breathtaking church and we wanted our aerialist to perform in front of the stunning Burne-Jones window.

“What a fantastic space to perform in, it’s just stunning!”. Participant


The Gargoyles see everything!

The show covered a thousand years of local history.  We loved the fact that the church’s gargoyles had seen everything, so we made a special feature of them in the show. 


Circus in Broadfield Park!

With the help of Rochdale Local Studies, we discovered that people took part in circus skills at Broadfield Park c1876! To celebrate this, a special page in the giant book was created. Children from Broadfield Community Primary School performed this section of the show accompanied by live music from Chords and Fiddles.  

“What an amazing show, it’s been a pleasure to be part of it, the children did me proud!”. Mrs Dardis Headteacher


Broadfield Community

Primary School 



Taking Part!

“I was really nervous at first but then, when I got onto the globe and everyone cheered – it was incredible, I absolutely loved it!”

Skylight Circus NW Acrobatic Artists

“It’s all about community and trust.  This organisation have got it by the bucket load!”

Cllr Janet Emsley, Deputy Leader Rochdale Borough Council

Take Part or Donate Today!

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