I did a blog...

Posted in Blog on by Appetite
I did a blog... We’re often so busy at Appetite HQ at the New Vic we don’t get the opportunity to tell people about what we’re up to. For 2018, we’ve all said we’d like to let you know what goes into making the Appetite programme happen and here is what I’ve been in the last week or so…

I’m Appetite’s Creative Producer for 60% of the time and New Vic Theatre Special Projects Producer for 40% and lots of things at the moment fall into both areas.

Since 2014, we’ve been working with Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) and Borough Council on the development and delivery of The Homecoming. Inspired by Philip Astley, the town’s son and known as “father of modern circus” we’ve been celebrating his legacy on the streets on a Saturday in June. Funded by BID, the borough council, local sponsors and through National Lottery via Arts Council England we have had a grant for two years to make the event a little larger and hopefully stronger for the future.

This week, I’ve been working with Peter Herbert our Production Manager to make sure all our plans will fit onto the streets of Newcastle. We’ve been developing the artistic programme for the event since January and are in the process of confirming the acts…so watch this space! This year will be Saturday 30 June and it’s all free! 
Click the Images to see the film from the weekend!
(Images of The Homecoming 2018 courtesy of Clara Lou Photography)

For the whole of 2018, the whole of the team has been working with the New Vic on the delivery of some areas of the exciting Circus Past, Present and Future programme, a special project. I’ve been working with Cathy Haill a curator from the V&A to curate the outdoor exhibition CIRCUS! a collection of drawings, posters, watercolours, photographs from the V&A’s collection and beyond. It looks a circus in the UK from Philip Astley’s time to now. You will be able to see it from this weekend until 4 August and it’s definitely worth the trip to Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre (Red Lion Square).

You might have also seen we’re bringing CIRCOLOMBIA to the area – the circus concert is going to be a highlight of the year. Don’t miss it! Click the image below to see the film and then book here:

Help us shout about this special year by using facebook and twitter: #CircusPastPresentandFuture #Circus250 and by telling your friends.
Don’t forget to check out all the other circus activity: and

We’ve been talking to our Supper Club and to each other about our year and the other exciting events and activities we’re planning. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you all soon.

Another area of my work, is supporting local artists and organisations to develop and often look at applications or give advice and support that isn’t all about cash. Last year, we had an open commission for The Big Feast and alongside the Supper Club we commissioned Feral State. Feral State is led by Laurel Gallagher with other artists. Last year, when I was on maternity leave my nephew took part in Feral Spaces. A project, led by artists, that encouraged young people to play, explore and be wild in green spaces in amongst the sprawl of our towns. This one was in Burslem Port (an old canal port in Middleport) and my nephew had an “EPIC” time being artistic, making new friends, trying things for the first time and playing outdoors.

Feral Spaces has been shortlisted to be part of ITV’s People’s Projects, which will see the general public (looking at you!) vote for the projects they want £50,000 in cash to go to. I was invited to be part of the film and was joined by those who took and take part, community organisations and people from the area to say why we think it should be funded. Voting opens on 16 April – please support this great project. Check out their latest film by clicking the image below.



Elaine Reeves (nee Astley)

April 7, 2018

I'm looking​ forward to all the events particularly as my Dad and my Aunt used to say that we were descendants of Philip Astley. I think we were probably descendants of his brother.

Posting comments after three months has been disabled.


Stay Up-to-date

To keep up to date with the latest events listings, just pop your email details below and we'll be in touch, soon!