Circus Shows and Marquee Hire from our Bristol Base.

Circus Shows and Marquee Hire from our Bristol Base.

Bristol Base for Circus and Marquee hire

We have a Bristol Yard for circus and marquee hire these days.

The HQ, store and main office is still in Devon on the Cornish border near Launceston though! ( I live in Devon and have a Cornish post code.)

Given our key install team and our circus performers are in Bristol, it makes total sense to have a workshop there to work from.

Our store unit is based on the outskirts of Bristol conveniently located near the M5 and M4 junction and it has proved to be invaluable for work all over the country let alone in the South West and around Bristol itself.

Our circus team members are mainly living in Bristol ( It’s a circus hub city!) and this makes it ideal for our shows, rehearsals and new artists to join us. Similarly the marquee and event install team are living there too. The same people often do both the tent work and the show work too.

Of course, it still means many miles are covered while we present our entertainment offerings and circus shows at events, parties and festivals, and marquee hire for weddings, parties and events all over the country.

So if you are wanting marquee hire in the Bristol area, South Wales, the Midlands, London and the home counties, the South east, the north..get it?Anywhere !

We are that bit nearer.

Circus theme party with Circus Acts, Bigtop hire, from our Bristol Base

SuperVet Christmas Party

Super Party for the SuperVet;

A circus themed christmas party to remember.

If you read last weeks episode (blog post) you’ll know that Team Bigtopmania spent a Saturday afternoon busy in Surrey providing circus entertainment to a company christmas fun day.  But the show doesn’t end there.  Oh no!  You’ve merely made it to the interval.  It’s SuperVet Christmas Party time; So get your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the rest of this roller coaster ride of circus & event supplier rambling!

Can we supply a marquee for 300+ guests at tables?

Let’s set the scene before we get into the actual event. Our client Fitzpatrick Referrals, made contact with us at just the right time, way back in May 2014.

Honoured to be asked and from what I now know these Supervets and their amazing team do outstanding work.

Cirque Noel

Quick Tip!

Plan early!  That’s a 6 month Christmas event planning lead in.. just right!

Good timing too.  They were able to visit a nearby event we were doing for Farnham Lions “Indian Spectacular” for 400 guests.

Next Tip! Its really good to be able to see the tent and we like to let clients know if this is possible.

Here’s a picture of the set up on that occasion in May 2015

Farnham Lions Indian Spectacular

Farnham Lions Indian Spectacular

and there are even more tents behind.  We look forward to working join their next big event in 2017 for 600 table seated guests!! That was a big event and it gave the present clients a good sample.  So why not go bigger!

Tent for 300 guests + Large Foyer Bar Tent + Service tent + Stage + Dance floor + loos and lots of entertainment too!   In Mid December!

The challenge was on and we produced a few plans and worked with the organiser Stuart (who also runs a therapy centre in Guildford. ) Stuart is a friend of Noel Fitzpatrick and event planned as a favour.  I think he likes parties too!

One of the draft plans!

sketch marquee plan

Next Tip; Don’t do it all yourself!

A production collaboration was in order as it was a huge job.

Cirque Noel ( Supervet Christmas Party) suppliers included;

The Event Build; Production phase.

marquee install

From this…

marquee for 300 guests

to this…

It was a very windy site during site visits so we were well prepared with huge amounts of extra ropes, ratchets , and mega stakes.  There was no way we were going to have any wind issues!

In the  build week leading up to the big day we spent a couple of chilly days fighting the winter weather rigging the rather enormous 6 pole Red & White ‘Squirty Cream‘.  This marquee served as the main function space giving 383 square metres of party space.

As soon as this tent was ready we informed Carron marquees that their work could begin!  

We had delivered some kit and made some ground preparations in advance so we ended up a day ahead of schedule!

300 seater tent

before the foyer and catering tent added

The space was lit with a combination of our fairy light systems, festoon lighting and globe lanterns to light the tent.  Later Puxley Sound installed the stage lighting, projectors and battery operated up-lighters.

solid floor in marquee before carpet

Before the carpets.

Tents were linked with a 4×4 chinese hat pagoda to a 9x15m candy-striped marquee that acted as the grand entrance tent.

foyer tent

Foyer tent install

Equipped with a well stocked bar and champagne to welcome guests.

Bar tent

well stocked bar

MArquee Grand entrance

Entrance during event

The set up looked colourful and exciting when we left it, but by the time we returned with all the finishing touches; tables & chairs, decor, dance floor, a carpet and uplighters.

The venue looked quite stunning.

Supervet Christmas Party in winter season marquees

fairy lights balloons christmas partySupervet Christmas Party

 

It’ll all be alright on the night.

When so much attention to detail has gone into the planning of a colourful vibrant event, it’s nice when the guests do it justice with an equally fantastic fancy dress effort.

Next Tip; Dress up! 

Team Supervet did not disappoint.  As well as gorgeous formal wear, there were plenty of leopard skin body suits, groups of strong ‘men’, a pantomime horse with both ends, all manner of clowns and ringmasters.  It adds so much fun to the atmosphere from the start, it takes the fear out of atmos-fear!

Next tip; Book some great entertainment.

So after an already long day of performing circus shows down the road.  The Bigtopmania team jumped straight into action.  We provided mingling circus entertainment to give onlookers something to watch whilst they sipped champagne.  Breaking the ice!

Emmanuel was keeping things simple with just a little bit of African bowl spinning and charismatic funny faces which always amuse me even after all these years.

Aerial Els was up high on stilts as a beautiful christmas fairy.

Lucas Jet and Moses did some walkabout  juggling to the sounds of the wandering band.

After the guests found their tables,

The London Essentials then kicked things off with an en-mass rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody . . every-one joined in of course.

Then BANG!  Generator fail.  Smoke and Steam.. just like a car engine failure!

Next tip; at a big event, have at least a back up generator, some onsite electricians and ring for a replacement! 

Back stage, people were madly running around trying to sort things out.  For a while it was going to be a choice between power for catering or power for marquee.. but in the end Carron marquees brought a new generator.  Only setting the schedule back by only 40mins or so.  USE A LOCAL GENERATOR CO!

Next tip; Use an opportunity!

This unplanned power fail created a highlight for us and  whilst we were having a break before the main show, word got back to the dressing room that the generator had failed (nothing to do with any of our kit thankfully). So the tent was in relative darkness apart from some battery powered LED uplighters round the edge and a small amount of lighting.  Elanor had thankfully brought her glow clubs and they went straight in to action.

Next Tip; Battery up lighters. None of the guests noticed the power failure! 

glow juggling

glow club juggling

Making use of the lower lighting and making it look like it was all part of the plan; Glow juggling and acoustic wondering band to the rescue!

The London Essentials band

The London Essentials band

The guests remained in high spirits and danced and sang and watched our juggling apparently with some of them not realising this wasn’t planned.  Below shows a badly-filmed clip of the nice moment the lights came back on.

When the event power comes back on!

Next Tip; Use the opportunity for a rousing speech by the CEO! supervet noel Catering back on one generator, sound lights and marquee on another;

microphone handed to Supervet Noel to do his CEO speech; striking, stirring  and thanking his huge team.

Dressed as gothic ring master and full of encouragement and wicked sense of fun!

Or was it just an excuse to be able to get close and introduce Růženka Kunstýřová  the WORLD POLE SPORTS CHAMPION DANCER 2015 ?

world champion sports pole dancer

From Prague; world champion sports pole dancer

 

A great and sexy start to the shows in store.. but not quite as sexy when colleague vets got to have a go!

After the pole dancing it was meal time and during this the London Essentials continued to serenade table by table.  A VERY recommended band.

random juggling around the tables

juggling around the tables

I’m afraid i didn’t want to intrude on tables and meal with a camera so no pictures of that and apologies for the I phone unedited images. Lets move on to the

Post-Meal, Pre-Dancing Circus Show Time.

It wouldn’t be a Supervet Christmas Party without some circus!

We had previously installed a 5m high portable, mobile trapeze rig over the dance floor and the action packed show to follow was in front of the stage. We aimed for an action packed show full of skills and comedy of about 25mins long.

The SuperVet Christmas Party Entertainers were;

Lucas Jet who did his jumping over guests on a unicycle routine.  He really shouldn’t have picked on our bookers; Noel and Stuart! lucas jet unicycle act The Uk African Acrobat Company provided tumbling, human pyramids, contortion and bowl spinning.

african acrobat human pyramidafrican acrobat contortionistafrican acrobat aeroplane

Aerial Els swung high on silks.

Aerial Silks

Moses Opiyo presented his sexy hand balancing act.

african acrobat hand balancer moses opiyomoses opiyo acrobat

Straight after the show we dismantled the trapeze rig in just a few minutes and were ready for the first set by The Stage Band.

The STAGE BAND

They got the dance floor full and it basically carried on that way into the night. After their second set, James ( who works with Chris Tarrant no less) took over as DJ to a very full dance floor.

Christmas circus party

The Supervet Christmas Party went on well into the night.

We cleared up over the next few days.

Field back to normal!

And we were told…

“In case I miss you during your pack down I just want to thank you and your brilliant team for their performances at what has been universally accepted by Fitzpatrick’s as the best party ever!!

The Big Top looked fantastic and your guys were all amazing.

I’m sure we will be in contact about future events and look forward to working with you again.”

I think between us we made this supervet christmas party into a very memorable affair!

Christmas Party Circus Entertainment

It’s Christmas; It’s Circus Season (It was!).

Let’s review our Christmas Party Circus Entertainment.

But first; Happy New Year everyone! 2015 was fun!

December; always a busy month for events with celebrations and New Year’s parties galore.

This year  Bigtopmania were extremely busy providing circus tents and circus theme event for christmas and seasonal events across London, Surrey, Cornwall and West Sussex.

Wapping Christmas Fair.

We started our December Christmas run back again  in city centre London at an event in central Wapping organised by Community Solutions with local volunteer and Church help.  Entirely focused on brining the community together, with charity stalls, Father Xmas, and lots more.  The sun shone  and this second Fair there was a great success. Wapping Christmas Fair, Community Solutions Blog post.

Wapping Christmas FAir London Christmas event

From Wapping, we had a mad week with large tents and shows in Godalming and Camberley in Surrey as well as a fairy lights installation in Launceston in Cornwall and some fire juggling shows at Chanukah events in Finchley and Golders Green London for Tzivos Hashem groups.

Giant Menora Lighting Golders Green

The huge crowd at this outdoor celebration.  Fire Juggling stage show and more by PeteZa.

Golders Green Giant Menora

Peteza also performed once again for a playgroup party in Chilworth, Guildford; back for about the 15th time to the 3 and 4 year olds with lots of clowning nonsense!

Fairy Lights for Launceston Young Farmers Snow Ball at Launceston Town Hall.

During the mid week we installed tents for the weekend parties to come, but also managed to install a very pretty fairy light installation for the young farmers ball. ( They stayed in place for the mayors community dinner too).  It was an interesting challenge doing this and used adapted parts, lots of ladder work and hundreds of meters of lights. Looked lovely!

fairy lights installation launceston town hall launceston young farmers snowball

Company Christmas Family Party

We were working as part of a larger project co-ordinated by Michael Charles from  Julia Charles Events Management.  Various suppliers came together to provide fairground rides, an ice rink and santa’s grotto with Bigtopmania providing the Christmas circus party entertainment in our beautiful little Big Top.

The team came together to supply a bespoke big top experience to wow the S C Johnson Ltd employees and families of the company.

club passing act

The show featured;

  • Chief Peteza in ringmaster & clown mode with knife throwing frolics.
  •  Moses Opiyo was hitting new heights with his hardstands, and braving the cold in just his gold leggings.
  • Lucas Jet; Sky High Unicycling and juggler.  Also debuting a club passing routine with Moses.
  • Uk African Acrobat Company. Fabulous contortions, human pyramids and tumbling.
  • Elanor Smith ; Aerialist from Pass Go Juggling; Rounding things on aerial silks to bring the house down.

uk african acrobat company clown peteza

We performed two shows and in-between shows we presented circus skills and giant bubbles to keep the kids amused entertaining around 500 people across the two audiences.

This day was a good example of how we can fit into a larger scale event but provide a low maintenance one stop solution.  You don’t need to worry.. we will get on and do it!  We provide lighting, p.a, the show, tiered seating, carpet, space heater.

Fitzpatrick Referrals (or Supervet); the mega Staff Christmas Party Circus .

You will have to wait!

There will be a separate post about our Fitzpatrick Referrals ( the ‘Supervet’)  staff christmas party circus because so much of our resources went into it that it warrants a full article itself.

Sneaky Peak;

Supervet Christmas Party christmas party circus entertainment

So as if you needed an incentive to check back next week, well, you now have one.

Cmed Staff Christmas Party Circus.

Cmed’s West Sussex office party was a relaxed lunchtime gathering in one of our tents at their location near Horsham.

cmed staff christmas party tent

The brief organised in conjunction with one of their head members of staff ( thank you for  trusting us Georgina!)  was a few hours of circus, food, informal, team building, party!

With 80 staff, we installed a small tent so there was no room to hide!

Guests/ Staff were greeted by bubbles and artists and each had a red nose and some costume accessories to wear on top of the Christmas jumpers.

Lunch from Monster Foods was very popular and the candy floss was splendid!

Show was by;

  • Moses Opiyo;  hand-balancing and hat juggling.
  • Lucas Jet; Unicycling and juggling,
  • Elanor Smith on Aerial Hoop with our new mini portable trapeze rig.
  • Iris West; A new addition of fancy hula hooping.
  • Clown PeteZa; comedy knife throwing

bigtopmania mini circus teammose opiyoiris west hula hoop actmini mobile mini trapeze rig

After the show we presented a group circus workshop which developed into splitting  into random groups and present a Cmed’s Got Talent circus show.  It was all about mingling and having fun.

 

Hey.. a very full Christmas  Party Circus Season rammed with entertainment.

So what was the result of all this work?

Lots and lots of tent and equipment to clean in early January!

Nice start to 2016!

 

 

Juggling unicyclist for film, tv advert or advertising – Sony Xperia

What better way to start December than with a video shoot as a juggling unicyclist for Sony Xperia! The enquiry came in for a juggling unicyclist for film day in London and was I available? Luckily I was.

I first got the call from Tara Moore who was quite mysterious as to the details initially, I only knew it was a shoot for Sony in London. My heart was racing, I was imaging I might be the next billboard sensation, envisaging a career in underwear modelling from then on…

The shoot was held at the very impressive Malcolm Ryan Studios in Wimbledon, where I was treated to a lovely crew lunch, one of the best I’ve had.

My call time was 12pm, I arrived early as always. I walked into a large studio full of people looking at a chap in a spandex superhero costume catching bubbles! Not unlike many of my Tuesday afternoons.

I went straight into hair and make up with a lovely woman who’s name has escaped me, but she did a wonderful job moulding my hair into a mohawk which was fun.  I was introduced to Alice Timms who was the stylist, you can check out her work here. She dressed me in a high fashioned set of dungarees, made by Louie VeScrewfix and a pin-striped top. I really liked the look and may well try to replicate it for future costumes.

Unicycling Juggler Photoshoot

There were so many professionals playing their part in the production, which always brings it home how much work goes into the final tv advert or even Instagram post that goes out to the public. I soon found out it was the latter, a social media campaign to promote the launch of the new Sony Xperia phone. But what a great opportunity to work with as big a brand as Sony and be involved with such a professional production. The closest I’ve been to this in the past is when I filmed an advert for a production company making an advert for D&G, you can read about my experience and see the video here > Juggler for Advert

juggling unicyclist for film

Juggling Unicyclist for film shoot.

When it came to the actual shoot. I was encouraged to keep it simple. Whatever I did had to be repeatable, 100/150 times successfully. So as much as I would have liked this to be an opportunity to show off juggling 5 clubs on a unicycle, I’m not solid enough at it to make it viable for this style of shoot. The Sony guys had very specific requirements of what they wanted and Tara was looking for a particular shot. We experimented at first with balancing the club on my nose out of a juggle which you can see below. But they didn’t like the shape of the shot so we changed it. I suggested under the leg and they liked the frame of the shot more. I would have loved to try and slip a few tricks in but I was aware that every time anything went wrong or I dropped it was their time that I was wasting. The make-up artist was dabbing the sweat off my forehead every minute or so, I had two different guys picking up the club for me if I dropped and one getting me water quicker than I could drink it.

 

Concentration face slowmo #juggling rejected shot from the #sonyxperia videoshoot #Unicycle #unicycling

A video posted by Lucas Jet Wintercrane (@lucasjetjuggler) on


Both photographers were using the Sony Xperia phone, so it advertises what a professional shot you can get whilst using the phone. You can see the final product below. Lets see how many likes it gets!

If you  want a juggling unicyclist for film, tv or stage..get in touch!

 

Circus Film Shoot: “Dark Clowns”

Circus Film Shoot.

Big Top Marquees for Film and TV Production.

Especially for a circus film shoot.

Look here for the “Dark Clowns” student short film.

Earlier in the year during Feb 2015, we were contacted by Kas Braganza,  Film and Television Producer, BA Acting for Film & TV, Arts Educational Schools  Chiswick,  London.

They had  various student films to  complete for the 3rd Year 3-year BA Acting Graduates final degree show reels.   See all the  Arts Ed student films 2015 here.

There was one particular student film that needed a circus location; the short film “Dark Clowns”.

The student films are very short simple pieces.  The students act in the films and crew them, although they have a professional cameraman, director and first assistant in order to ensure they run as smoothly and professionally as possible.  The Arts Ed School is a charity funded educational facility and the films are intended only for those purposes and to assist the students with obtaining their degrees and gaining future employment from agents.   A final piece for their portfolio.  It involved shooting some scenes on location.

The scenes needed were for a short film set in a circus and required shooting the following :
Inside a  dressing room at night.
Inside a canteen at night.
Behind a curtain at night.
Outside a marquee at night.

I sent Kas various images of previous film and TV work  with our tents and some ideas of how we could help and during March we installed a tent on location in London outskirts.  ( A country house location that previously had been the Studio and location for much of The Professionals TV series.  We provided various extras and circus props to enhance the scene.

I must say, I quite like the result and the film!

In pictures; here are some stills and location pics. With thanks to Arts Ed.

 

IMG_0826 IMG_0828

IMG_0829 IMG_0830 IMG_0831IMG_3337 IMG_3335 IMG_3338

 

And so;  ta da! ..another link to the actual film.. its fun.. watch it on Vimeo here.

 

Good luck to all involved in their future careers.

Dark Clowns

Dark Clowns from Alex Millan on Vimeo.

Dark Clowns

Ching: Alex Millan
Chong: Philip Tomlin

Director: Wayne Yip
Writer: Gail Sixsmith
DOP: Ossie Jalkanen
1st AD: Bella Merritt
Editor: Robbie Hamilton
Sound Editor: Adam Newns
Producer: Kas Braganza
Exec Producer: Caroline Jeffries

Marquee and some of the circus Props:  Bigtopmania on location Circus Film Shoot Tv and Film Production supplier.

If you want the knowledge about tv and film production suppliers especially with regard to supplying alternative marquees and circus tents or circus props and circus performers get in touch with us at  Bigtopmania for your next circus film shoot.

Acrobats for Photo-Shoot

Acrobats for Photo-Shoot.

Question; Acrobats for Photo-Shoot?

Do we supply artists for events?

Earlier this year in March 2015 we were contacted by James  F,  marketeer for Cemex  UK , a huge UK concrete supplier among other things.

It was an interesting request;

he had a Twitter photographic competition photo entry to do and it involved marketing via Hi Viz vests!

The photo would go on the

@CEMEX_UK

twitter feed with competition related  hashtags

 

It was a pretty informal affair; a bit of brand awareness and capture the photo in a unique way.

No pressure and it didn’t really matter how well the competition entry went, being more of a peer to peer twitter event.

So the concept was to supply some artists , namely acrobats who could present a human tower of vests!  Ideally in a 3-2-1 type  3- high human tower!

Of course we can do this!

We supply artists for all sorts of events!

Straight away I thought of our team of acrobats from the UK African Acrobat Company, based mainly in London. 

This  was handy as the company had some locations in London they could bring one of their concrete trucks to!

So it was arranged for the team to meet up at the 02 while Cemex were also exhibiting on an internal stand at the Ecobuild2015 trade show and co-incidentally had some building work going on in the background too.

With the permission from the O2, a photography set was quickly set up in the car park.

As you will see in the photos, various Cemex trucks turned up, nicely washed!

The team of acrobats got thoroughly into the swing of things wearing the various  Hi-Viz jackets and trying different human pyramid poses.

They could even get roles as acrobatic models!

To add to the fun and possibly to warm up a a  bit, (it was March) the acrobats then went into the exhibition hall and proceeded to wow the guests in front of the Cemex stand!

So how did it all go?

To Quote James after the event ;

“I think the guys were very understanding and just wanted to put a good show They were fantastic! Thank you for helping out and being patient In the organising.”

And how did the photo go in the twitter competition?

“it got into the top 3…. so it was worth it 🙂 We won our award though for innovation so we were pleased people are still talking about the show the lads put on at Ecobuild! ”

Result!  

Would you like any acrobats for your event, photo-shoot or productions?

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