Extraordinary new circus and dance show rolls into Welsh castles this summer

Wednesday 13 July 2016


Two days of spectacular performances are planned at Raglan Castle (July 23) and Caerphilly Castle (July 24) when audiences will have the chance to see BLOCK, an exciting new dance circus show.

The Welsh Government’s historic environment service, (Cadw), has joined forces with Motionhouse dance company and Cardiff based NoFit State Circus to host four unique performances of ‘BLOCK’ as part of Visit Wales’s Year of Adventure.

The renowned UK dance company has teamed up with Wales’s internationally-acclaimed contemporary circus to bring ticket-holders the stunning spectacle, to be set against the dramatic backdrop of Wales’s much loved historic sites. The new show will be travelling around the UK and Europe this summer in a highly-anticipated tour.

Tickets are now on sale and audiences will be treated to a 40-minute show ‘where dance and circus collide.’ Set in the stunning surroundings of Raglan and Caerphilly castles, the performance is based around 20 oversized blocks that resemble giant breeze blocks (or blocks of stone) that are deconstructed and reformed throughout the show.

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The Year of Adventure has already seen our historic sites hosting some amazing, unique events including rugby screenings, stargazing and beer festivals. These circus events are another ‘first’ which help showcase our rich culture and heritage in a new light and position Wales as an exciting destination to visit.”

“In BLOCK, I wanted to explore how circus and dance can work together to create an exciting new artform that can be enjoyed by a wide-ranging audience,” said Kevin Finnan, creator and director of BLOCK and Artistic Director of Motionhouse. “I really enjoy creating work that can be seen almost anywhere, and seeing BLOCK performed in such an historical setting will be really exciting.”

Alison Woods, Executive Director of NoFit State Circus, added: “2016 marks our 30th anniversary; a year in which we have made premieres in both the US and China as a company. We are thrilled to be continuing our spectacular year, returning home to perform BLOCK with Motionhouse at two of Wales’ most beautiful backdrops in Caerphilly and Raglan Castles. These dazzling performances really will be a once in a lifetime experience for adults and children alike.”

BLOCK is part of a packed summer of unusual and exciting events planned across Cadw’s sites in Wales. Highlights include stargazing sessions at Caerphilly Castle, storytelling of Wales’s magical myths and legends during the Summer of Stories, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performances at some of Wales’s most atmospheric historic sites and the annual Festival of Archaeology (9 July–16 August).

During the August Bank Holiday (27–29 August), Cadw sites will wow spectators with bloody battle re-enactments and living history encampments at its series of ‘Bank Holiday Fun’ events, happening across sites in Wales, from Caerphilly all the way up to Beaumaris.

Visitors to Cadw sites are being encouraged to share their adventurous experiences on social media by using the hashtag #HistoricAdventures.

BLOCK will be staged twice daily, with performances at 2pm and 6pm on Saturday 23 July at Raglan Castle, and 1pm and 5pm on Sunday 24 July at Caerphilly Castle. Tickets are priced at £10.00 per adult, £6.00 per child, and £30.00 for a family pass (two adults and up to three children) — allowing ticket holders full access to the castles on their visit* To buy tickets go to billetto.co.uk/block-raglan or billetto.co.uk/block-caerphilly

For full summer events listings www.gov.wales/cadw, visit find Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales on Twitter.

*Excludes online booking fees.