Shooting Stars Circus Skills Workshops
Civic Hall, Stratford
Sat 18 September
Sat 16 October
Sat 6 November
10am - 3pm
Contact Lyn Scruby
Martin's brilliant it, Matthew's modestly fantastic, Esme just keeps getting better and better, Adrian's hooked and Kayleigh's an old hand at 18, having won the World Championship four years ago.
What is that they're so good at? Well take your pick. We're talking plate spinning, stilt walking, juggling, tight rope walking and uni-cycling. And that's just for starters.
Have a go at some 'Big Top' thrills
Student Russ is a dab hand at juggling
The Shooting Stars Circus Workshop is held once a month in Stratford's Civic Hall.
It's run by old hand Steve Grainger, who did a bit of circus stuff for fun but then started teaching skills seriously about 12 years ago.
It's Steve's daughter, Kayleigh, who's held the Uni-Cycling World Champion title, and watching her trying out new moves on her cycle is quite breathtaking.
The Circus Workshops are now held every month on a saturday (see dates left) thanks to local mum, Lyn Scruby. Her son Martin is a keen pupil of Steve's, and she works hard to encourage other youngsters to have a go at the thrills of the 'Big Top'.
Martin Scruby tackles the diabolo with ease
Esme Jenkins is 16 and studying Performing Arts at school. She's building her skills up for a production of Barnum at the Civic Hall next year. She's a dab hand at the diabolo, stilts and juggling already.
Adrian Jones, 15, is going to be in the production too, and since January he's pretty much mastered juggling, stilts and plate spinning.
The Barnum production is planned for March 2005 and looks set to be a roaring success if the youngsters' circus tricks are anything to go by.
Expert on one wheel - watch out for the cardboard box...
Apart from looking like fantastic fun, Steve Grainger says that there's far more to juggling and tight rope walking than you might think.
"The young people who come to these workshops have acquired a number of transferable skills useful for any future career they take up - they have great interpersonal skills and loads of self confidence".
Anyone can have a go - even pensioners
Steve Grainger and his champion uni-cyclist daughter, Hayleigh
Steve does a lot of work with youngsters with special needs, who particlarly love to have a go at circus tricks, and he's keen to point out that anyone can have a go - as long as they're over 8 years old.
"We've even had an 84 year old man turn up to learn juggling. And he did it - after 5 or 6 workshops."
So if you're at a loose end in Stratford on a weekend and fancy livening up your CV - a bit of plate spinning or tight rope walking could be just the thing.
Adrian's preparing for a production of Barnum
If you're interesting in knowing more or want to book a session - just call Lyn Scruby on
Workshops are for anyone from 8 to 100 years old. They cost £10 and run from 10am - 3pm on saturdays at the Civic Hall in Stratford. For future dates see the list on the left.
If you want to contact Steve Grainger and find out more about Circus Skills Workshops coming to you, then you can e-mail him at