29 May 2015

Tower to Tower: Not your average charity fun run...

#TowerToTower is a charity challenge with a difference, it sees its team of 24 participants attempt the 450 nautical miles open water challenge from the Tower Bridge in London the Eiffel Tower in Paris all in aid of the amazing Donna Louise Children's Hospice. The Donna Louise Children's Hospice are a Staffordshire based charity which provides care for children with life limiting illnesses and support for their families. It is also a charity close to the heart of the Gandey Organisation as it is supported every year by Circus Starr's performances in Stoke-On-Trent.

Celebrity led Tower to Tower team 2015.

The celebrity led team (as seen above) includes Hugh Dennis (of Mock the Week fame), former television presenter Nick Hancock and former Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who, along with their 21 team mates, will attempt what is dubbed the 'Everest of open-water rowing'. In fact, less than 100 people have successfully battled against the forces of the sea to complete the challenge, which is a lot less than have stood at the summit of Everest. 

Tower to Tower Route 2015

The arduous journey started at Tower Bridge this Monday 25th at 8am and, depending on the weather and tides, finishes in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower next Monday 1st June. The team will be rowing against the elements of the Thames, Seine and the dangerous expanse of the Channel all whilst suffering from sleep deprivation, potentially rough seas, aching muscles, sea sickness and living in cramped quarters.  


At the time of writing this blog the team has just gone past Duclair, well on the way to their Monday arrival time and had surpassed their charity target by £24,000 meaning a total of £224,516.13 had been raised for the Donna Louise. Undoubtedly this sum will increase come Monday for this undeniably worthy cause and we wish the rowers the best of luck with the rest of the journey.

8 May 2015

Cirque Surreal: Voyagers Theatre Début....

In April of this year Cirque Surreal: Voyagers was staged at The Lowry, Salford for 5 days of performance over the Easter holiday period. This one off rendition of Cirque Surreal, the first in 8 years, was particularly significant as it was the first time it was presented on stage to theatre audiences. World class artists from across continents were brought together under the guiding eye of creative director Phillip Gandey, who set about adapting this narrative driven circus for stage. Cirque Surreal was met with critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike showing the contemporary nature and versatility of this truly unique take on circus art. Reviews can be read here - Manchester Evening News, Salford Online, The Public Reviews. This picture blog is designed to give you an impression of the show in both rehearsal and final stages.


Above is Creative Director Phillip Gandey and the show technicians arranging the lighting in the Lyric Theatre stage at The Lowry.


Creative Director Phillip Gandey watching Las Chicas Morales with their Rolling Globes act, behind you can see the Aerial Crystal Ball which housed the benevolent spirit and in the foreground is are the chess pieces used in the battle for the rose.


In this picture you can see Creative Director Phillip Gandey talking to choreographer Daniel Todd, next them are the brilliant hand to hand performers Duo Vladimir and in the background Trio Serik on the Double Pole.


Trio Serik on the Double Poles can be seen in the above image, setting the scene of the immigration gate which are clown 'Barto' tries to enter.


The incredible talented and undeniably funny Barto the Clown, he played the role of the nomad trying to find a home.


The amazingly talented Victoria Antipova with the Aerial Rope act.


Victoria Antipova.


Chico Rico was the other clown in the show, his routine concentrates on audience participation and potatoes.


Chico Rico.


Mohammed Alidulo performing the Zulu dance.




Duo Pikhov on the self-standing wire, the first time this act was seen anywhere in the world.






Las Chicas Morales on the rolling globes and Romy in the Aerial Crystal Ball.


Romy in the Aerial Crystal Ball.


Said Mejlaoui Debbach as the moon man.


Trio Serik on the ropes.




Alejandro Hernandez from Argentina performing Bolas dancer.








Anna Ratsova performing the swinging trapeze.






The cast taking a selfie as part of Chico Rico's act.


Chico Rico with the crowd in the Lyrics Theatre at The Lowry Centre.


Riakli Kajaia from Georgia performing the traditional Georgian Dance.


Duo Vladimir performing the hand to hand act as the finale.




The talented Russian pair went on from the show to perform on Americas Got Talent with this amazing stunt.




Said Mejlaoui Debbach handing Barto his circus passport.


The finale where Barto is being embraced by his circus family.


The Gandey Blogger