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

Open Call

CALLING ALL ARTISTS, SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS!

Community organisations (including schools), are invited to work together and take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outdoor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of the Modern Circus.

Staffordshire-based groups are invited to apply for up to £1,000 for materials, artist fees and volunteer expenses to design and make flags to be used in a parade and displayed at the festival.
A total of £5,000 is available.

ASTLEYFEST 2018

On 4th August 2018, Newcastle-under-Lyme will gather together to celebrate Philip Astley at AstleyFest, a free festival in Lyme Valley. With performances and hands-on activities, everyone will have the chance to be inspired and get involved.
A brilliant day out for the whole family, children of all ages will love clowning around and trying their hand at circus skills. Everyone will enjoy the New Vic Theatre’s first performance of Roll Up, Roll Up, a brand- new show developed with local writers, performers and choir members.

In 2018, The Philip Astley Project has commissioned Appetite and PH Productions to deliver AstleyFest. The Philip Astley Project is managed by Staffordshire University on behalf of a steering group of arts, heritage, statutory and educational organisations. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, and sponsorship from businesses based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, local people can get involved in workshops, talks, an exhibition, and performances to celebrate Philip Astley in his home town.

FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY

Download the Open Call Document for full details. Apply by Monday 5th March. 

Any questions? Complete our contact form with any queries. 

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Open Call

CALLING ALL ARTISTS, SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS! Community organisations (including schools), are invited to work together and take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outdoor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of the Modern ...

Astley – Circus Genius

Re-issue of the tribute book by Paul Bemrose of Newcastle Museum, published by Newcastle Borough Council. Once in a while, history produces a personality who rises up to become a legend in his own time. Philip Astley, born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1742, ...

Do you remember your first circus?

On Wednesday 3rd January, Radio 3's Free Thinking Programme hosted a discussion about the invention of the circus ring. Andrew Van Buren (Van Buren Organisation, Philip Astley Project), Tom Rack (No Fit State Circus), Naomi Frisby and Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Sheffield University) discussed ...

Newcastle-under-Lyme named one of six Cities of Circus for 2018

Newcastle-under-Lyme will be a hub for circus celebrations in 2018 after being named as one of the six Cities of Circus by Circus250. The Philip Astley Project and The New Vic Theatre will lead events throughout the year designed to ...

Sharing Astley’s Story

190 children from schools across Newcastle-under-Lyme have learnt about Philip Astley's story at Newcastle-under-Lyme Library. In October and November 2017, staff at Newcastle-under-Lyme Library, the Brampton Museum and local Children’s Centres worked with the New Vic Theatre’s Education Team to develop the storytelling skills and ...

Winners unveiled in 2017 Business Boost award

Business growth and potential were under the spotlight in November as the Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Boost competition unveiled its 2017 winners. A diverse range of finalists took to the stage for the awards event held at Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s Performing Arts Centre. ...

Carol Gandey on “The Business of Circus”

50 members of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Rotary Club enjoyed anecdotes from Carol Gandey's extensive experience of managing both Gandey's Circus and Circus Starr, a touring circus offering free tickets to disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children. Following a meal at Newcastle-under-Lyme Golf Club, Rotarians ...

Circus Symposium – Philip Astley and the Legacy of Modern Circus

The Philip Astley Project and the Van Buren Organisation collaborated with partners at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) on a symposium to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Modern Circus by Philip Astley. ...

Collaborate to celebrate

Staffordshire University is collaborating with a number of local organisations to celebrate the life of 'the father of the modern day circus', Philip Astley. The Philip Astley Project has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £167,000 from the Heritage Lottery ...

Clown Charlie Cairoli launches Series of talks about Philip Astley

On September 25th, world famous clown Charlie Cairoli visited Newcastle-under-Lyme to launch a series of talks about the father of modern circus, in Philip Astley's hometown. The talks, organised by Staffordshire University and the Van Buren Organisation, form part of The ...

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