Zine

Exciting Collaborations with Motherbug!

Hello Mischief Makers!

I have some exciting news…

The Goblin Circus will be working with Motherbug Crafts on a fabulous collection of the circus stories… in an illustrated storybook!

Motherbug is artist Suzie Simmons, (find her on FB here) and she’s already begun working on designs and images, behold! A Panda Clown sketch!

Motherbug Panda Clown Sketch

Suzie did some wonderful fan art of the Big Top last year and has agreed to join me in putting together the Goblin Circus in a much requested book of stories. I’m so excited to see what she creates for us!

Goblin Surprise! by Suzie Simmons
Goblin Surprise! by Suzie Simmons

Exciting times, no?

Anyway! Tomorrow I’ll be at Carmarthen Book Fair and on Sunday I’m in Swindon at the Swindon Poetry Festival for the Children’s festival day, come along and say hi!

 

Looking backwards and forwards!

Wow. So last year was pretty awesome. I just compiled an album of photos from the summer for our Facebook page and it reminded me of just how good a time was had by all. You can check them out here, and you shouldn’t need an account to view them!

Last month kicked off our adventuring for this year at the Wee Crafty Folk’s first steampunk market of the year. Tomorrow we venture out again, this time to SW Wales Faerie Fest! I hope to see some old friends there, as well as making new ones ūüôā

*mwah*

~ Halo Quin The Goblin Circus Ringleader

Dates for our upcoming shows can be found here! Constantly being updated…

And announcements can be found easily on our Facebook page.

Summertime!

Summer is such a busy time!

Changelings in Lampeter! Photo taken after one of our weekly development sessions!
Changelings in Lampeter! Photo taken after one of our weekly development sessions!

We’ve got our first group outing this Saturday (11th July) at Lampeter’s People’s Market, followed by a full weekend at Inspirali Festival (18th and 19th July) where I’m going to be experimenting with Walkabout activities with my changeling crew (three lovely ladies from Lampeter, Maurice the Gryphon and possibly some Cwn Yarnwn, AKA “Yarn Hounds” or “Story Sniffers”!).

Then, on 25th July, follows the Lampeter Food Festival, one of the biggest local events of the year, where we’ll be on Walkabout in the afternoon and I have the final slot in the entertainments tent to tell tales and bring the Goblin Circus to life for half an hour!

I have to admit, I’ve booked the following two weekends off to recover, as it’s our one year wedding anniversary and my 30th birthday, but it won’t be without adventure as there is the Cardigan Belly Dance festival to dance at…

Experimenting with the Cwn Yarnwn (pronounced "Koon Yarn-oon") prototype marionette.
Experimenting with the Cwn Yarnwn (pronounced “Koon Yarn-oon”) prototype marionette. Yes, the name is a pun on “Cwn Annwn”, the “Hounds of Annwn”, in other words, Welsh fairy dogs.

August will be a time to catch up, prepare for the autumn (and work on my thesis) so that come 6th of September, when Celf Yn Y Coed (Art in the Wood; a day of arts, crafts and performance in Longwood nr Lampeter) kicks off, I’ll be ready to host the performance stage (and we’ve got a Goblin Circus workshop in the works for that too. On 19th September we’ll be on Walkabout duty, ushering people between venues at the Make Lampeter Festival, and co-creating a mini circus show with whoever joins us for our workshop ūüôā

There are plots for later in the year too, but I reckon that’s plenty for your diary to gobble up for now!

Maurice the Gryphon says hello!
Maurice the Gryphon says hello!

So I apologise for the quietness of the online Big Top and I hope you can¬†see that there is a lot going on behind the scenes. I’ve been updating our¬†Facebook page with sneak peeks of a sweet shop themed show and various crafts and happenings – (Goblin Circus on Facebook) – and I look forward to enacting some of the plans for this site I have in the works.

Oh, and finally, you may have noticed a change in the web-design today… do please let me know what you think.

Now, I’d best get a bit of¬†philosophy on the page before packing some more boxes. We’re also moving home this month!

Kids’ Parties!

So it turns out I can blow up two balloons at once…

The post-party video debrief is because I completely forgot – yet again – to get any actual photographic evidence of having taken the Goblin Circus out into the world, this time a friend’s daughter had her sixth birthday party. There was slightly too much excitement for any actual storytelling, (they were *quite* small children) so we played with balloons (a lot), I ended up in charge of the music machine for the games, there was cake, we painted the inside of caves and made masks. It was more walkabout, really.

I have to admit that I enjoyed myself. It was fun to mess around, make people laugh and contribute to making sure everyone had a good time (including my friend, who insisted it was less stressful having me there to help!) I really liked having lots of activities¬†up my sleeve for flexibility, for example; when it turned out they weren’t into sitting down for stories, no problem, there were balloons and boxes painted like caves and plenty of paints.

Plus BIG boots. And odd, knee-high socks. Taken post-party!
Plus BIG boots. And odd, knee-high socks. Taken post-party!

I went for a kind of woodland-pixie cross punk-clown look. It certainly meant the kids knew I was someone ‘official’ rather than just another parent, so they knew they could ask me about things regarding the party, etc.

I also now know what I want to start my own box of activities off with, for future events:

  • facepaints (we didn’t get to use them today but I love them!)
  • pre-cut masks and crayons,
  • paper for those that like to colour outside the lines,
  • wet-wipes for messes,
  • a huge bag of balloons… and a balloon pump!

Oh, and maybe some earmuffs for the initial noise levels ūüėČ

Welcome to The Goblin Circus for kids’ parties, apparently! Any more for any more?

Next stop… walkabout at The People’s Market, Vic Hall, Lampeter, 11th July.

Time for a walkabout…

The Goblins have begun gathering other humans in the area… and we’re cooking up a walkabout performance!

Sketching for Kore and the circus goblins' mummers play...
Sketching Kore & a circus goblins’ mummers play…

I’ve been working on character and costume designs and, this evening, one of the walkabout goblins decided she wanted her story told in the ‘one-woman-many-goblin’, theatrical storytelling, part of the circus. And so Kore told me her tale! She also showed me her favourite Act… Giant Venus-Fly-Trap Taming…

20150323_194434
Feed me Halo! (Work in Progress)

 

Anyway! We also have some show dates brewing for the walkabout, one confirmed and more in the works… So I can tell you now that we will be taking the Goblin Circus on walkabout at…

Lampeter’s annual Food Festival, 25th July 2015!!!

See you there!

 

FAQ: But what does it mean?

Most of these FAQs are frequently asked by Halo herself, rather than visitors to the Circus. Once people get a handle on WHAT it is, they seem quite content, but when something drives you and inspires you and excites you without you quite being able to put a finger on what it is and why it should make your fingers twitch, you probably want to know what drives it too. Ultimately the best way to get to the essence of something is to hear its story, so if you’d like to hear the story behind the Circus, take a seat…

First, there were faeries. There were always faeries. From the ring that mysteriously appeared in the playground, “a gift from the fairies” as my teacher declared, to the way the trees sang under the stars. From worlds inside hedges to worlds inside pages. From dreams to whispers on the wind.

Always faeries, calling me ‘cousin’. Maybe I should have realised then; ‘cousin’, not ‘sister’. Family, but not quite the same.

I grew up in the pages of books and the branches of trees. Dreamworlds and liminal spaces. Looking for a tribe, looking for my people, looking for home.

And then the goblins came to town.

“We’re your people.” They said. “We’re your kin.”

And they laughed. And they told me to write more about faeries in general, and they waited. Until the Tea Museum with its manic Steampunk genius Dr. Geoff.* I thought I was talking to him about my thesis, but that was smoke and mirrors. Really, I was listening to instructions on how to build a circus. And Gary was laughing. “Finally.” He said. The Mindless Ones told me to bring faeries to the comic con next time… and I began to¬†wonder how…

*knock knock* Gary rapped on¬†the door. *knock knock* And I answered, asking in turn; “So, Gary, what are we meant to be doing, exactly?” ¬†His grin was so wide it split the gap between the worlds in two. “Exactly what you do best, Halo, tell tall tales.”

The doors opened and it was too late for more questions, the Circus folk arrived and we began building the Big Top, weaving the canvas from whimsy and mystery, from darkness and light. Stories rolled in and paint flowed as I came to understand that I’d found my people. And it was only a matter of time before the rest of my people would find¬†me.

Turns out the Goblin Circus means coming home. It means a tribe. It means family.

 

( This post is part of the Tour through Blogland, the first half of which lives on A World Enchanted and includes a bit about my relationship to writing.)

* Find Dr Geof and his Tea Museum here.

FAQ: So, what IS the Goblin Circus?

Goblin Circus Actual Sign Halo speaks:

I keep getting excited and telling people about this wonderful world I’ve found myself in, ¬†and their eyes light up and they get excited too, but it doesn’t take long before that tricky question butts in to the conversation… Tricky because it is a question that wants to limit things, to make them easy to grasp, and limited does not describe this circus one jot!

“So…” They say, “What exactly¬†is the Goblin Circus?”

It wasn’t until I’d rambled about the comic in response to this particular question one day and the person who had posed it suddenly nodded in understanding:

“Ah, its a book. I get it.”

Huh. Well, no, not really. But at least then I knew what kind of answer people were looking for! What tangible thing is the primary manifestation of ‘Goblin Circus’? What are you making that all the rest of it is an embellishment for?

Good questions. Except they somewhat miss the point.

The Goblin Circus is, first and foremost, a lot of fun. But I listened carefully and now I have three answers for you to pick from, depending on who you are.

The Goblin Circus is…

… an imaginative playground and a home for whimsical misfits.

… a multi-platform artwork centred on the concept of a fantastical circus where freaks and outcasts¬†can be themselves.

… a one-woman-many-goblin circus manifesting primarily as a theatrical storytelling performance. (With supporting art, games and stories, that are actually part of the whole and which the performance would not exist without.)

All three are true, it just depends on which angle you look at it as to which is most true and most important for you. The answer I give myself?

Its a Circus, belonging to the Goblins, isn’t it?

(This answer and the rest of the FAQ lives here, in case you were wondering things like ‘Why Goblins?’ and ‘But what about the animals?!’)

The Circus in Audio!

A quick 'snap' behind the scenes before the show began!
A quick ‘snap’ behind the scenes before the show began!

Opening night was a success!

On February 7th 2015 The Goblin Circus débuted at a conference held in honour of the Celtic Goddess of inspiration, healing and fire, The Spirit of Brighid Conference in Penarth, Cardiff. It was described variously as:

‚ÄúSpellbinding!‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúAWESOME!‚ÄĚ

and

‚ÄúEpic, indeed.‚ÄĚ

Unfortunately the Goblins decided that they were camera shy and Рafter the backstage photo above Рhid all knowledge of Halo’s camera from her, so there is no video… but hopefully a photo or two will appear soon… We definitely saw some cameras flash…

Rather than give up on sharing the magic with you however,¬†my dears, we have recorded half of the stories from the¬†Goblin Circus’ opening night! SO! Sit back and relax as the Big Top comes to you…


Join the conversation on the Circus’ Facebook official page.

And, if you’d like to read¬†Halo’s description of the Spirit of Brighid conference at which we launched our circus as a circus, click here!

Finally: Many Goblin Blessings on the Cauldron Born… we felt loved and hope you do too. xx

OPENING NIGHT!

Ahem. Drumroll please…

LADIES AND JELLYSPOONS! GENTLE FOLK AND MISCHIEF MAKERS!

The Goblin Circus is coming to town!!!

Spirit of Brighid Conference, Penarth, 7th February 2015
Spirit of Brighid Conference, Penarth, 7th February 2015

The Goblin Circus will be making an appearance at the Spirit of Brighid Conference in Penarth this Saturday! (<- Click there for all the shiny speakers and stalls!) Halo will be sharing a table with the wonderful author Wendy Steele, and then, at 7pm, the Goblin Circus will make its first outing as a storytelling show! (Just before Blanche Rowe, Mike Gulston and Damh the Bard! Our Circus gets to début in the company of some outstanding pagan talent!)

Fifteen minutes is a small space to fit such a large dream, but we’re so excited to be able to finally make it manifest in the physical, temporal world and to share it with our community.

Halo even painted a sign for the circus…

Goblin Circus Actual Sign

So you can find us easily!

Look for this sign during the day, and Halo in her ringleader’s outfit, to find out how you too can join the story of the circus…