Successful arts programme Appetite kicks off a year-long calendar of activities and events to celebrate 10 years of engaging North Staffordshire residents in the arts.

Led by the New Vic Theatre, Creative People and Places programme Appetite began as a three-year programme for Stoke-on-Trent in 2013. Expanding to include Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2019, the programme has served up a wide variety of local, national, and international arts activities for local audiences.

Now in its 10th year, Appetite wants to hear from people who have attended any of its events and activities to share their memories and favourite moments.

Gemma Thomas, Appetite Director, explained: “We want to know, what’s your Appetite? The team all have their own favourites, but we are encouraging our local communities to share theirs with us. And if you have never attended an Appetite event, it’s not too late to join in the fun! Plus, there are some great opportunities to win tickets to some of the fantastic events we have planned this year. Just follow us on social media to find out how to enter.”

The Appetite team will be looking back on some of the highlights of the last 10 years on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, and are encouraging people to share their memories and highlights using #WhatsYourAppetite.

The celebrations kick-off with the return of contemporary circus NoFit State performing at Stoke-on-Trent’s Central Forest Park from 23 June to 10 July.

Theresa Heskins, Artistic Director at the New Vic Theatre, recalled her first experience of Appetite: “We had the most extraordinary experience inside the big top. NoFit State opened our eyes to what circus can be, and to what Appetite could be. The comments of local people afterwards were extraordinary, none of us had ever seen anything like it. I think that’s what Appetite has brought to our area ever since: extraordinary new experiences that have astonished us and left us hungry for more. I’m especially glad that, in our 10th anniversary year, we welcome back our friends at NoFit State Circus with their new show.”

NoFit State Circus’ performance of BIANCO was the first ever Appetite event to be staged in the city. For the anniversary celebrations, the company returns with its brand-new Big Top show, SABOTAGE – a large-scale circus spectacular that will feature breathtaking aerial silks, breakdancing, trapeze, mind-blowing acrobatics and much more.

Tom Rack, Artistic Director of NoFit State Circus, said: “It is fantastic to return to Stoke-on-Trent just as Appetite is about to turn 10. Audiences at our first show had absolutely no clue what to expect, but since then we have built a relationship with the community, and have a fanbase that love our full-on, boisterous, and joyful performances.

“We have an international cast of awe-inspiring performers and a toybox of circus skills. Unlike a traditional circus experience, audiences can expect to have an emotional response to our contemporary circus production. It is fun and uplifting, and also profound and socially relevant, but not in a dull way! We could not go through the last two years without it having an impact on our shows.

“It is grown-up circus that is not unsuitable for children. People young and old take different things from it, whether they are in awe of the fearless circus skills, love the live music, or fully embrace the show’s darker, grittier, and more subversive edge.”

The Appetite programme has recently secured funding from the Arts Council to ensure it runs until at least March 2025.

Share your memories from Appetite events and activities you’ve attended on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WhatsYourAppetite.

For tickets to NoFitState Circus’ SABOTAGE and for more information about Appetite’s 10th anniversary and upcoming events, visit www.appetite.org.uk/. Tickets can also be booked at the New Vic Theatre Box Office, and www.nofitstate.org/sabotage 

(Main image Bianco by NoFit State Circus in 2013 (Credit Andrew Billington Photography.)

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