Birmingham Hippodrome guest blogger Chris Unitt on running away (to Boston) to join the Circus… and how it went viral!

Chris Unitt is Head of Social Media at Made Media. He also runs the Created in Birmingham arts and culture blog.  We sent him over to Boston earlier this year:

Back in May, I was asked to play the part of a roving reporter. I flew to Boston to see Cirque Eloize who were due to perform their show ‘iD’ at Birmingham Hippodrome later in the year. My job was to review the show, interview the performers and record some video.

I arrived at midday on a Saturday, just as the company were warming up for the matinee performance. As I chatted with the tour director, contortionists, break dancers, jugglers and trampolinists went through their warm-up routines. I snapped a few quick photos then took my seat in the auditorium.

The show was fantastic – colourful, energetic and inventive and performed by sixteen incredibly skilled artists. I was massively impressed and have been telling everyone I know to book tickets for the upcoming UK shows (if you’ve not yet, then you really must).

Watch the infamous clip!

After the show, the idea was for me to do my interviews and for someone to teach me a few skills – a bit of trampolining and some juggling – and we’d video it for the Hippodrome’s YouTube channel. I also asked Thibault Philippe, one of the artists, if he would perform his daring bike routine with me.

He said yes, and you can see the result in the video here.

Unexpectedly, the video went viral and has now been watched more than 500,000 times on YouTube alone. It was also picked up by the makers of Channel 4’s Rude Tube who used it in their recent round-up of impressive stunts. Meanwhile, over in the States, the video was featured on ESPN, ABC Eyewitness News and CBS News.

I get asked whether it was scary lying there with the bike tyre landing so close to me. Actually, it wasn’t so bad – if you’ve seen the show then you’ll know that Thibault is phenomenally talented and that he makes more difficult and dangerous tricks look effortless.

Ok, so it was a bit scary…

You can find out more about the show and book tickets by clicking here.

Cirque Eloize perform iD at Birmingham Hippodrome from 2-5 November.   Birmingham Hippodrome is only one of four venues in the UK to present this production, the tour in association with the Dance Consortium marks the first time it has been performed in Europe.

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