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Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum brings the circus to town

Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum brings the circus to town
January 16, 2015

The Circus Factory exhibition at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum is bringing the heritage of circus and carnival sideshows to life through live performances, sideshows and historical costumes.

With a 100-year old carousel as the centrepiece of the exhibition, Circus Factory also features over 60 circus costumes and props including ringmasters, animal trainers, acrobats and clowns; laughing clowns; photographs and never seen items from Wirth Circus; kinetic sculptures created by David Archer and a carnival world created by French scenographer Gérard Cholot and designer Alban Le Henry.

Cholot designed the downstairs space at the exhibition to be "very experiential", with plate-spinning and strength-tester sideshows.

During school holidays in January and April, the exhibition will feature seven circus performances a day.

Powerhouse Museum Director Rose Hiscock explains "circus is the perfect blend of art and science.”

The Powerhouse Museum had featured a range of exhibitions based on popular entertainment in recent years including Lord of The Rings in 2005, Star Wars in 2009 and Harry Potter in 2012. This year's Circus Factory is much broader, bringing together interactive elements for the kids and more historical items for the adults.

The Powerhouse Museums is hoping that the exhibition delivers significant visitation, having experienced  faces dwindling visitor, membership and sponsorship numbers.

Its 2013/14 annual report reveals only 381,582 people visited Powerhouse over the year, 16.1% lower than the 10-year average. Within a year, membership also dropped by 20% from 33,000 to 26,000 and sponsorship plummeted by 88% from $990,000 to $123,000.

The NSW Government is planning to relocate the Museum, which also includes the Castle Hill Discovery Centre and the Sydney Observatory, to Western Sydney.

Circus Factory is at the Powerhouse Museum until 3rd May. 

Click here to visit the Circus Factory website.

25th November 2014 - ART AND SPORT TO BENEFIT AS PART OF $20 BILLION NSW INFRASTRUCTURE VISION

20th March 2012 - POTTER AND PICASSO BREAK LONGSTANDING EXHIBITION RECORDS

3rd July 2009 - POWERHOUSE MUSEUM’S JACKSON EXHIBIT BECOMES A SHRINE


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