News, activities and stories from the Philip Astley Project have received local and national coverage. If you’d like to cover one of our events, or an interview with showman and Philip Astley Expert, Andrew Van Buren, get in touch.

For background on the project, download our Press Pack

Philip Astley celebration event

The Philip Astley Projecy set out with a grant from the Heritage Lottery to raise the profile of Philip Astley locally, nationally and internationally and to reaffirm Newcastle-under-Lyme’s role in circus history.

In the past 18-months more than 30,000 people have been directly involved via events and workshops, and over a million people have been connected to the region’s heritage via traditional and social media.

As a big thank you to many of the people who have helped to make this possible, and to celebrate the launch of the Philip Astley Resource Pack, Staffordshire University held a circus themed celebration with acts including jugglers, LED hoopers and a Charlie Chaplain impressionist.

The event, held on 28 November 2018, was attended by more than 120 guests including the Mayor of Newcastle Gill Heesom, Lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent Lillian Dodd, Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Michael Greatorex and Leader of Newcastle Borough Council Simon Tagg.

The Resource Pack, available for free download, includes original research on the life of Philip Astley and his family in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the role of Astley’s theatrical performances in shaping recreational life of the period.

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Philip Astley celebration event

The Philip Astley Projecy set out with a grant from the Heritage Lottery to raise the profile of Philip Astley locally, nationally and internationally and to reaffirm Newcastle-under-Lyme’s role in circus history. In the past 18-months more than 30,000 people have ...

AstleyFest 2018

On 4th August 2018 Newcastle-under-Lyme saw the first ever AstleyFest – a new festival celebrating the father of the modern circus in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The festival started with a bang at 11:30am in Newcastle town centre where people proudly paraded their ...

Philip Astley Town Trail

Newcastle-under-Lyme BID have teamed up with Creative Art North Staffordshire to create a Philip Astley Town Trail Map that tells you about the life of Philip Astley, Father of the Modern Circus. The trail uses window vinyls placed at specific locations ...

Communities come together in Celebrating AstleyFest

In February 2018, The Philip Astley Project held an open call for artists, schools and community groups to take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outd- oor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of ...

Homecoming by Night

  Homecoming by Night, held on Saturday 30th June 2018, was a fantastic summer event that brought circus acts to the people of Newcastle-under-Lyme, in celebration of Philip Astley, the father of the modern circus. Homecoming is a popular annual event ...

World Circus Day – 21st April

Newcastle-under-Lyme celebrates World Circus Day in style! In 2018, World Circus Day celebrations in Newcastle-under-Lyme are coordinated by Andrew Van Buren. Highlights include Philip Astley Project talks hosted by the New Vic Theatre, and the unveiling of a new public art project by Realise ...

World Juggling Tour 2018 comes to Newcastle-under-Lyme!

World Juggling Tour 2018 comes to Newcastle-under-Lyme as part of the worldwide celebration of World Circus Day 2018! 25 professional circus schools were invited from all over the world to take part in the World Juggling Tour 2018, during the New ...

Andrew Van Buren commemorates Philip Astley and the 250th Anniversary of the circus in Westminster

The legacy of Philip Astley and the 250th anniversary of the circus are commemorated by Andrew Van Buren at the Palace of Westminster. On March 6th, Showman and Performer Andrew Van Buren gave his speech in the House of Commons after ...

Town Trail – Invitation to Tender

Artists and designers! Could you create a Philip Astley Town Trail for Newcastle-under-Lyme? Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (the BID), is looking for an artist or graphic designer to work with young people on the development of a Town Trail to support The ...

‘No Fit State Circus’ is Coming to Town!

No Fit State Circus is in town! Described by The Times as: "A huge, restless party vibe" No Fit State Circus comes to the big top in the heart of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Presenting a 21- date circus extravaganza 'LEXICON' from 28th March- 21st April, ...

Circus themed Easter activities held at Brampton Museum

A selection of circus themed Easter activities are being held at Brampton Museum to continue the ongoing celebration of circus pioneer- Philip Astley, from Newcastle-under-Lyme. Children and families are invited to make their own circus themed posters to be exhibited in the ...

Andrew Van Buren represents The Philip Astley project in Monte Carlo

Andrew Van Buren has recently represented The Philip Astley Project in Monte Carlo at the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo. The international illusionist & showman was invited to be involved in the unveiling of the permanent Monte Carlo tribute to ...

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