Press Release – The Richard Award 2019

Date: 7 October 2019

Tickets are now on sale for The Richard Awardshowcasing  the work of exceptional emerging artists trained in Bristol, the powerhouse for the creation and development of circus in the UK. 

The Award is on Sat 16 Nov at 7.30pm – tickets cost £15/£11.50 at Circomedia, Portland Square, Bristol. The show is suitable for all ages.

2019 is the second year of The Richard Award for Circus Arts, established in honour of Richard Ward, founder of the first professional circus school in the UK. The award celebrates and nurtures contemporary circus talent emerging from Bristol’s rich platform of circus training and performance companies.

Five acts have been selected by a panel of industry professionals to participate in this exciting live final. This programme promises an eclectic mix of circus and physical theatre suitable for all ages. Who will be ‘crowned’ with the trophy? Who will take away the prize?

A final panel of four will select the winning act on the night which will receive a prize of £750 and be ‘crowned’ with the Richard Award trophy.  They will also have their name engraved on the Richard Award trophy plinth, which is on permanent display at Circomedia’s Portland Square venue.  

All acts will benefit from promotional materials produced from the evening to develop their work. Agents, producers, managers and festival programmers will watch the showcase final, keeping a keen eye out for the ‘next big thing’ in contemporary circus.

Last years winner, Eloise Currie, said she was “utterly overwhelmed” to win the award. Eloise performed an aerial straps routine entitled Tumbleweed and enthralled the audience and the judges with the emotional quality and breath-taking skills of her piece.  Since the award Eloise has had constant work offers in the UK and abroad performing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival in the Circus and Theatre field.

The Award was created by Audrey Michel and Helen Crocker each co-founders of Bristol’s professional circus schools in 1986 and 1994 respectively aided and abetted by former Fool Time student Janine Mc Cretton.

Audrey said: “We are really excited to run the award for the second year. Last year was a roller coaster ride and the energy was amazing.  We learned a lot about how we can best support new artists, some of whom are very new to performing in front of a paying audience.  The show was a sell out and we expect it to be the same this year. People will have to get their tickets early.”

You can purchase your tickets from



Background to Richard Ward and Fool Time

Anyone wishing to find out more about the award, or make an application, visit

Tickets for the live final are on sale from Circomedia’s box office

Helen Crocker, 07779 332709,

Link to interviews from 2018 finalists

Photos available on request from