Hydromania in Kortrijk

The dust or should it be the damp has settled back here at Avanti Towers after an exciting time in Kortrijk where we made our Hydromania show at Sinksen Festival on the 19th May. I am so lucky to work with a team of amazing freelance performers and technicians who understand the nature of this odd site responsive show. Once again there were new elements, a synchronised team of spurting men who arrived in great style down the river, an extra layer of large scale fireworks plus everything we learned last year with The World Beaters, who were once again very much as we say ‘on it’. The music was by the amazing  Seaming To. Thanks to Ruth and Clare for their choreographic work with the Belgian dance team, Jon for calmly mending anything with nothing, Dominic Cook and Dominic Coffey, Pete for really well judged and sensitive Pyro (not too much smoke!) Performers Marc, Adam and James for their experience and sheer bottle and of course Adam P. now called Adam ‘three comms’ Povey for running the show. Alex and the Sinksen team for your professional attitude to getting everything as we wanted it and for the amazing hospitality. Thanks to Joey and Karl for excellent boat verk! and deDingen who officially serve the best coffee in Belgium and that is a FACT.20180519_223612(0)




Full Circle on Instagram

We are pleased to report that Full circle has been supported by the arts council. This year the show will play strategic showcase festivals with a view to touring in 2019. Last week we were at 101 where the group created an instagram page with a ‘rehearsal to performance’ theme. Its HERE The feed will run up to September and perhaps beyond!

Its Never Really ‘Just like That’

Tommy Cooper’s “gag file”, in which the late comedian meticulously recorded his jokes, is now preserved by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The V&A acquired an archive of papers and props once owned by Cooper in 2016 which show he was less shambolic off stage than he appeared when performing.

The gag file is among 116 boxes of his papers going into the V&A collection.

The museum said he used a system for storing his jokes alphabetically “with the meticulousness of an archivist”.

‘Funniest of all time’

On stage, Cooper was known for his apparently chaotic magic routines as well as his trademark red fez and his catchphrase “just like that”.

But the file shows how he carefully sorted his jokes into dozens of categories, ranging from boxing and bull fighting to wives and women.

The material sheds light on his “scrupulously organised working methods, the business side of his vocation and the extent of his writing”, the V&A said.


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I read the above on the BBC website after watching David Threfall in the Simon Nye film ‘Not Like That Like This’ over Xmas. In the film we see Tommy obsessively prop checking before a performance. ( I myself have to position all the props in The Spurting Man show and need them to be in literally the same position as always). For example the pipes behind the Spurting Man show are even wound the same way round before each performance (anticlockwise in case you were wondering). I’m not comparing myself to the great Tommy Copper, but my point is that something appearing simple in a performance very rarely is, especially if you are concentrating on, in Coopers case, performing magic tricks and in mine trying to keep track of the ever changing and chaotic outdoor environment where we perform. Obsessively controlling everything I can helps me to deal with and even enjoy the bits that go (apparently) wrong.


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Arts By The Sea Bournemouth

The last weekend of shows this year were in Bournemouth at Arts By The Sea. We played our Hydromania show over two nights. The audience was estimated at eight thousand each night and although size isn’t everything it’s an impressive turn out by any standards. The World Beaters opened the show for us and we all felt that they did an amazing job with Mark high on a balcony on the Town Hall encouraging the audience in a call and response then the rest of the team joining in from within the audience quite a special moment! We are planning more of this unique and strange large scale show for 2018 watch the diary for details.WB Balcony

Pitching Full Circle

I will be pitching Full Circle as part of Xtrax shorts at Out There Festival in Great Yarmouth this weekend. Here are the essential bits of my five minute talk.


  • Full Circle is a mischievous, experimental entertainment for an audience of between 50 and 300.
  • It has no text or technical requirement
  • The style of the performance deadpan comedy.
  • There is a paid opportunity for a local performer.


The main thing to say is that like all new shows, and this applies particularly to outdoor work where the environment can be so chaotic, it really needs bookings, Fingers crossed it tickles the fancy of the assembled great and good.