Preview: Delicate, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Preview: Delicate, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Delicate – a new circus show about what it means to be delicate from Extraordinary Bodies, Cirque Bijou and Diverse City will be at MAST Mayflower Studios from Monday 14 to Tuesday 15 November.

Delicate revolves around four different characters, united in their frustration at their bodies changing, ageing, breaking and no longer obeying.

They delicately climb, hang, balance, slide, collapse and hug through the three acts of chaos, acceptance and renewal.

As they examine the marks that life has left on their bodies, fragments of film and audio mirror their scars through the damage that has been inflicted on the earth.

The collaboration between Extraordinary Bodies, Cirque Bijou and Diverse City, who have worked together for the last decade, creates multi-disciplinary circus shows with disabled and non-disabled artists.

“Circus is a unique way to communicate with audiences,” says Lydia Harper, Circus Director of Delicate. “It can articulate pain, joy, and many different emotions with every part of your body in a way that goes beyond language.

“This show will make audiences feel the delicacy of someone else and recognise it in themselves. They will leave the venue thinking about what delicacy is, go out into the world and recognise where it can be found.”

The idea for Delicate came from a conversation between Jamie Beddard and performer, Aislinn Mulligan when they were working together on another Extraordinary Bodies show.

Jamie Beddard, Writer and Co-Director of Delicate, explains: “The inspiration to make Delicate came at a time I was beginning to feel my age, with mobility decreasing and feeling not as fit and robust as I once did.

“Aislinn, although quite a bit younger than me, was beginning to suffer from her rigorous work as a top circus performer.

“We had conversations about what it meant to be delicate, and what happens when the body becomes unruly or no longer does what it once did.

“The more we spoke between ourselves and to others about being delicate, the more we realised the multiplicity of meanings, sentiments and perspectives of delicacy.

“Underpinning all this, was a sense that the world and environment were becoming more delicate and that narrative is also interwoven into the show.”

Delicate does not follow traditional, expected circus techniques and is developed as a collective. The co-directors combine the performers’ individual talents to create a new kind of circus.

The cast is made up of people with different circus skills, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and disabled and non-disabled bodies, coming together to explore their delicacy.

“On a community level, we’re in a very delicate place in the world at the moment,” says Eilís Davis, Co-Director of Delicate.

“Wars between nations, and division, and unrest within nations. We have to accept that as a civilisation, we are delicate, and there are delicate things between us.

“Only once we accept that our relationships and world are delicate will we know peace.”

Tickets for Delicate (14 – 15 November) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

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