Acrojou present: Vessel

We are Acrojou - a circus and physical theatre company - and we need your help to create our brand new outdoor performance: Vessel.

We did it!

On 4th Apr 2017 we successfully raised £4,321 of £4,000 target with 105 supporters in 35 days

A B O U T     V E S S E L

What is a life well lived? What about all those things you meant to do one day? In a time of rising seas, homes lost to flooding, and escapes made in unworthy vessels, Vessel will be about the value of ‘now’, and whether it is ever possible to leave knowing you did enough.

Vessel will see one man alone on a boat, dogged by his own personal storm. In the passing of a long final night, adrift between life and death, he looks back on his life as he travels onwards, into the unknown.

A story told with humour, poetic imagery and visceral physicality, Vessel combines circus, physical theatre, illusion and projection to create an athletic and highly visual performance for outdoor, after-dark performances.

P R O G R E S S    S O    F A R 

Vessel is Chapter 2 of a two-part project. We created Chapter 1: All at Sea  in 2016 as a theatre and sound installation, to give a glimpse into the world of our character and introduce it’s style and themes. Last year saw a hugely successful tour, with All at Sea continuing to tour in 2017.

Our most technically and narratively ambitious production to date, Vessel will combine an exciting range of physical and visual disciplines to fully explore our character’s world, and tell the second part of our story.

"An all consuming piece of popular theatre, unmissable, never to be forgotten."
- Mark Daniels @boneyisland twitter on All at Sea

T H E   B O A T

The set for Vessel is a one man rowing boat, with a storm cloud trapped at the top of the mast. The storm cloud features sound-responsive lightning, a thunderous and evocative soundscape, and a never ending deluge of rain. 

Having built and trialled the set through All at Sea, we now need to build on this to realise the ambitious artistic vision of Vessel. This includes structural reinforcements  for acrobatic performance and developing lighting and projection elements.  These vital enhancements will bring our story to life, creating an immediate, cinematic piece of original theatre.


T H E    C O N V E R S A T I O N

In creating All at Sea  we explored interactive performance for the first time. At each  All at Sea tour location, the performer spends time talking with local people, about their aspirations, hopes and memories. The conversations are recorded and used to create the soundscape for the days performances, meaning the piece changes in a reflection of it’s audiences as it tours.

With Vessel we will take this concept much further, finding ways to weave this more tightly into the narrative content and working with local community choirs at each location to create a mass song finale.

"Arresting...we were left speechless by All at Sea. An incredibly powerful examination of the human condition" 

- Yack Magazine

W H A T    D O    W E   N E E D ?

To create Chapter 2: Vessel, we've so far secured co-commissions from 4 organisations and a grant from Arts Council England. However, we now need your help to raise the final £4000 to complete the budget, and our required match funding, to unlock the main Arts Council grant we are relying on.

This amount will allow us fully develop new elements of the show:  new physical skills, new additions to the set, and allow us proper time with our collaborators to realise our vision, and make this project a reality.

To thank you for your generous support in making this project a reality.

"A fantastic piece, incredible performer and magical quality making for a mesmerising experience"

- Ian Ross, Jasmin Vardimon Company

W H O    A R E    W E  ?    W H Y     S U P P O R T   U S  ?

Acrojou are an independent, not for profit, artist-led company who create highly visual circus and theatre performances.

Our mission is to create ambitious performance with integrity: work addressing the human condition that is accessible, challenging, and crafted for presentation outdoors, where people of all ages and backgrounds can access it for free in their local spaces.

We are not a regularly funded organisation / NPO and our team works tirelessly year-round to create, produce and tour innovative and high-quality new work.

Our drive to work in the outdoor sector comes from a belief in art for everyone, in street theatre as a force for inclusion, cohesion, and positive social change.

By supporting Acrojou and this project, you will be directly contributing to the creation of new work. And not just a one-off - our work tours year round, in the UK and internationally, and seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year. 

By donating, you’ll be helping create unique theatre that thousands of people will see for free, in their local, public spaces.

R I S K S    A N D    C H A L L E N G E S

Creative projects like this, especially ones involving the incorporation of new skills and technologies, always carry a degree of risk. 

As a company we have substantial financial and logistical planning experience, and hold a highly successful track record of creating projects in this area.  

Acrojou have produced 3 highly acclaimed and successful shows: The Wheel House, Frantic and All at Sea. The Wheel House (9th year touring in 2017) the most widely toured Without Walls commission to date, with 120k+ online video views, widespread international media coverage, and live audiences of 200k+ in 15 countries. Frantic (4th year touring in 2017) Gi20 Audience Vote prize and voted audience favourite at Greenwich + Docklands Int’ Festival 2014 (Xtrax poll).

This is a low-risk, high reward project to back, and your support means a great deal to us.


Director / Designer: Jeni Barnard

Film and edit: Dan Lowenstein

Vessel performers: Tommaso Giacopini and Barney White

Technical: Richard Mowbray

All at Sea and Vessel are supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Vessel is supported by:  

Vivacity Peterborough  |  Tallships Festival Greenwich  |  Imagineer Coventry  |  Gulbenkian Canterbury  |  101 & Newbury Corn Exchange  |  The Point Eastleigh  |  Jasmin Vardimon Company

All at Sea was supported by: 

Kent County Council  |  Applause Rural Touring  |  Gulbenkian Canterbury  |  Milton Keynes Int. Festival  |  101 & Newbury Corn Exchange  |  The Point Eastleigh

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