Clown Charlie Cairoli launches Series of talks about Philip Astley Father of the Modern Circus

“The evening promises to be a truly entertaining and enlightening peek behind the scenes - not only celebrating Astley's legacy but also a fun look at the serious business of clowning, circus and entertainment.”

Andrew Van Buren, Van Buren Organisation

'On September 25th, world famous clown Charlie Cairoli will visit Newcastle-under-Lyme to launch a series of talks about the father of modern circus, in Philip Astley's hometown.

The talks, organised by Staffordshire University and the Van Buren Organisation, form part of The Philip Astley Project, an exciting project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, and designed to highlight Astley's life and legacy during nationwide celebrations of 250 years of modern circus in 2018.

Charlie Cairoli said, “I am looking forward to launching the Philip Astley talks at Newcastle College. The work the Philip Astley Project is doing in Newcastle-under-Lyme is so important, not only for the area, but also for the world's circus heritage. Astley's creation and legacy changed the entertainment industry and it's fantastic to be able to share these stories with the next generation."

Charlie Cairoli will be in conversation with internationally acclaimed magician and illusionist, Andrew Van Buren. “The evening promises to be a truly entertaining and enlightening peek behind the scenes - not only celebrating Astley's legacy but also a fun look at the serious business of clowning, circus and entertainment.” Andrew Van Buren.

Each talk in the series will be hosted at a different venue in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to learn about the importance of Philip Astley from the perspective of circus producers, historians and performers. The first talk will take place in Newcastle-under-Lyme College's Performing Arts Centre from 6:30pm to 9pm. The talk is free and everyone is welcome, but booking is essential https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/charlie-cairoli-on-philip-astley-father-of-the-modern-day-circus-tickets-34878983980

The series of talks is part of a packed programme of exhibitions, performances and competitions taking place in Newcastle-under-Lyme during 2017 and 2018 and culminating in AstleyFest, a one-day festival in August 2018. The Philip Astley Project – Celebrating the Father of Modern Day Circus, which was awarded a National Lottery grant of £167,000 by HLF, is managed by Staffordshire University, on behalf of local heritage, arts, statutory and educational institutions.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and sponsorship from businesses based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, local people will be able to get involved, learn about Astley, and celebrate his legacy - breath-taking acrobatics, laugh-out-loud clowning and amazing equestrian skills – all taking place in a 42-foot diameter circus ring.

For further information please contact Katherine Evans on Katherine.Evans@staffs.ac.uk