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Circus City Bristol

Introducing New Authors Commission 2023: Farrell Cox

Our New Authors 2023 Commission has been awarded to British actor, aerialist and theatre maker Farrell Cox to develop her new work ‘Cocoon:

 ‘Cocoon’ is a daring ensemble aerial theatre piece that intricately weaves black salon culture with the complexities of disability; celebrating resilience and unapologetic joy. Inspired by lived experience, Cocoon pushes genre boundaries and invites audiences into a multi sensory theatrical narrative of smells, text and circus. To a soundtrack of noughties bangers, Cocoon will challenge societal norms and vibrantly smash stereotypes. Aiming to create a deep sense of empathy, this show responds to a burning desire to bridge gaps between cultures, identities and experiences.

“I’m excited to develop and share this project not only to amplify marginalised voices; but to empower others to advocate for their health, bask in the radiance of black joy, and boldly honour their bodies.”  Farrell Cox 2023

The panel were impressed with the concept and the potential of Farrell’s new work: “We feel ‘Cocoon’ is a bold, dynamic and innovative concept, with great potential to connect with and develop new audiences for circus. We look forward to joining Farrell in this move to make work at a larger scale, forming a new diverse performing company and embedding community participation into her creation process for the first time.” (Nicole A’ Court-Stuart).

In August 2023, three artists were shortlisted to receive New Authors micro-commissions offering them £1500, studio time and producer support to progress their idea for a new performance piece and to present findings and proposals for further development to a panel of peers, industry and potential partners at Circus City 2023. The panel were impressed by all of the micro-commission presentations. ‘Cocoon’ was selected for the full New Authors Commission, including £5,000 seed funding, producing and space in kind support from our exciting new commissioning partnership with Circus City, Déda, Jacksons Lane, The Lowry and Worthing Theatres and Museums.

Farrell’s project has since been shortlisted for an Unlimited Award, and ‘Cocoon’ will tour to partner venues in 2025. We look forward to bringing to Bristol as part of Circus City 2025!

New Authors 2023 was made possible with support from Arts Council England and contributions from partners Déda, Jacksons Lane, The Lowry and Worthing Theatres.