Unique show promoting positive mental health to be staged in Bath by Bristol circus company

Newly formed circus company Emotive Circus Arts is staging a new show designed to encourage audiences to engage with their emotions and explore complex issues around love and mental health.

Based in Bristol, Emotive Circus Arts is the first company of its kind in the world to incorporate neuroscience, affect theory and Jungian psychology into its performances to elicit deep personal emotions from the audience. Each show focuses on a different emotion.

The company will debut its first production EvoL, which focuses on the complexities surrounding different types of love, at the Rondo Theatre in Bath over four nights in January.

Through a combination of circus arts, dance and theatre, EvoL tells stories of love in a way that provokes a subconscious emotional release from the audience.

By challenging each individual’s understanding of their own feelings, EvoL aims to help people express emotions and encourage them to be more conscious of their own mental wellbeing.

Applying academic studies and using specific acting methods, performers will bring out raw emotions and form a genuine and open connection with the audience.

Emotive Circus Arts founder and show director Hannah Finn said: “It has always been my goal to inspire passion and emotion in my audiences. After a career in contortion and performing, and studying how to create and produce emotive works, I decided that I wanted to combine my passion for circus arts with my desire to help people express themselves and become more in tune with their emotions, by creating this emotive production of EvoL.

“I also wanted to use my art to emphasise the need for people to be open and express emotions in a healthy way, which I believe in turn will help people to better understand what they each need to keep their own mental health in check.”

Hannah decided to apply her knowledge of dance therapy, acting theories and psychological approaches to her circus work to create Emotive Circus Arts after 13 years teaching, training and performing circus all over the world.

The company has partnered with Bath-based mental health and wellbeing charity Off The Record Bath to help young people located in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset access help for any mental health issues.

The two organisations are working together on a social media and marketing campaign in the lead up to the show promoting positive mental health choices. They aim to break down the taboo that expressing emotion is ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’. They will also hold a ‘Physicalizing Emotions’ workshop to help people learn how to express emotion through movement and the body.

Off The Record director Phil Walters added: “We are excited to work in partnership with Emotive Circus Arts to support them in their promotion of EvoL. They share our passion for mental health and we are looking forward to seeing this passion brought to life in their circus show next year.

EvoL is relevant and appropriate for everyone, as mental health is a subject that needs to be talked about more, by everyone, of every age.

“We aim to engage young people with this topic, and hope to create a lasting impact where people question, challenge and consider their own understanding of emotions and their own mental health.”

The production is sponsored by Bristol-based insurance broker Jelf.

The firm’s South West and Wales director Julian Hilton said: “As a Bristol business it is important for us to be involved with the local community and we jumped at the chance to work with EvoL on this important project. Good mental health and well-being is vital and encouraging people to be more open about the way they’re feeling will hopefully help remove the stigma around mental health.”

Hannah Finn added: “As a brand-new company, the cost of a show as ambitious as this requires an equally ambitious budget.

“We are therefore still seeking sponsorship to help with all aspects of the show’s creation and would like to invite businesses and organisations in and around Bristol and Bath to look at our excellent selection of sponsorship packages.

EvoL gets people exploring their own emotions and talking to each other about their emotions and their mental health, promoting positive mental health choices and a general acceptance of expressing and talking about emotion.

“This helps to shatter existing taboos about talking about emotions and mental wellbeing.  If you are passionate about the arts and value the need to raise awareness of mental health, please get in touch to be a partner of this exciting project.”

Emotive Circus Arts production of EvoL will be premiering in the UK at the Rondo Theatre Bath from January 25 to 29. For tickets, go to https://rondotheatre.co.uk/box-office/.

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