Albert & Friends Instant Circus (A&FIC) exists to develop the physical and creative potential of children and young people using circus and the physical arts. We are committed to :
- inspiring and celebrating individual achievement
- sharing exciting, innovative and diverse skills, aptitudes and experiences
- challenging, influencing and changing life expectations; unlocking individual potential
Born in the summer of 1983, A&FIC has subsequently gained worldwide recognition for its highly skilled, innovative circus theatre performances. Its reputation and performance schedule now extend far beyond the boundaries of London and the rest of the UK. New York, Paris, Rome, Frascati, Edinburgh, Beijing, Hamburg, Ljubljana, Maastricht and Adelaide have all applauded the skill, charm and daring of London’s Premier Youth Circus.
Our work with young people with physical and learning difficulties is highly regarded by teachers, parents and the participants who gain so much more through learning circus-confidence, self-belief, flexibility, team work, tolerance, spatial awareness, commitment and respect not only for themselves but for everyone around them.
Members of the A&FIC family are ordinary young people achieving extraordinary things.
In December 2015, after 32 years, our Founders have stepped back from the day-to-day management of A&FIC.
Albert and ‘Trea’s dedication and endless energy inspired generations of young people to raise their aspiration through participation in the arts; preparing them to face the challenges of the modern world, building their confidence and giving them a sense of belonging to a challenging, exciting and extended family. In addition to weekly workshops, they offered numerous opportunities to young people – some who had never had a passport -to travel worldwide, to participate in International Parades and Arts Festivals. They created the biennial London International Youth Circus Festival in 2004 providing a platform for young people to perform on the world stage.
Both Albert and ‘Trea will stay active in supporting A&FIC and sharing their years of experience with other voluntary organisations.
We thank them for those phenomenal 32 years!
During a highly successful career as a professional clown and Teacher, Albert used circus as an educational tool to inspire, motivate and stimulate intellectual and physical literacy. Driven by a philosophy that ‘anyone can achieve anything’, he nurtured and built upon the inherent abilities of thousands of children and young people.
He created a unique youth circus theatre style that has defined A&FIC’s public image worldwide.
Albert leaves A&FIC with a ground breaking AIM Award accredited Level 3 training programme ‘Teaching Circus in the Community’ and the framework for an Intelligent Physical Arts training programme for Key Stages 1, 2, 3 -‘CirSchool’.
Eager for the achievements of young people to be recognised together with a passion for theatre and costume design, ‘Trea has guided A&FIC’s journey from a local summer project in 1983, to a voluntary youth organisation in 1988, to a registered Charity in 1997.
She established A&FIC as a model of good practice in both youth circus and circus arts education gaining Arts Council England recognition in 2004 and National Portfolio Organisation status in 2012. Playing a pivotal role in creating both Circus Works -the national UK network for youth circus organisations and the European Youth Circus Organisation (President), ‘Trea has contributed considerably to the development of the Sector both in the UK and Europe.
Chief Executive Officer
Esther was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in May 2015.
Esther brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience of the youth circus sector around the world.
She worked for Cirque du Soleil for 15 years and was actively involved in Cirque du Monde, (the company’s community circus initiative).
We are thrilled that Esther will be at the helm of Albert & Friends Instant Circus to steer it through the next phase of its incredible 32 year journey.
Senior Leadership Team
One of the original members of A&FIC’s first ever performing troupes, Tiggy is now the Manager of A&FIC’s flagship programme CiC and a highly skilled circus teacher. Whilst 30 years of circus have taken him around the world, Hammersmith still regards him with awe for his original starring role as ‘The Strong Man’.
Charley has been a member of A&FIC since she was 9 and, apart from holding – with her brother George- a Guinness World Record for the Fastest Marathon on 3 foot Stilts (6 hours and 50 minutes), she manages A&FIC’s flagship programme, C4S and is a highly skilled circus Teacher.
A&FIC wishes to thank our generous funders without whom we could not deliver the vast range of projects that currently reach over 400 children each week.
Ways of giving
You can make a donation towards the work we do through our Virgin Money Giving page.