Another year done…but also, what happened to the last 3 years?? 2022 was our first full year of classes and events since 2019! We are beyond happy to be able to share circus, uninterrupted, with you all again. 

With our new found freedoms, missing performing, and wanting to spread circus joy in-person, we packed so much circus into 2022! So let’s have a look back on a year that was filled with old favourites, new friends and exciting opportunities.

The Ruccis Games Club held their first Taskmaster event, inspired by the tv show, with tasks such as copy a picture using only condiments, and toss an Easter egg over a wall without it breaking. Hilarity and ingenuity ensued!

We were so excited to be back at Knox Festival after a couple of lockdown cancellations. This awesome event had a new look, condensed into one longer day rather than two, which saw us partying into the night and inviting kids and families to join us in a big glow dance party – a definite highlight of the event. We also had a new location which drew large crowds for Troupe’s Alice in Wonderland themed show, with guest MC Daniel Oldaker bringing the comedy gold as the Mad Hatter.

April Holidays again saw us at Sky High Mount Dandenong, and in the stunning surrounds of the Tesselaar Kabloom Festival.

Ruccis was the recipient of the Maroondah Arts and Resilience award at the end of 2021 and Troupe received another fabulous opportunity to perform under a big top when Gluttony set up in Maroondah. The show Opulence was created, our 1920s cabaret MC’d by the inimitable cabaret queen Tash York. Show day was perfect weather, bringing all the festival vibes, we sold out and had to release some last minute seats, and the show reviews were fabulous.

In May we started working with Louise to host a weekly PALs Playgroup, which filled up almost overnight. It’s been lovely to share our space and circus skills with the youngest in our community!

June was all about Burrinja. Again, two years of cancellations meant Ruccis students were buzzing to get back on stage! All classes performed in Order Up, with 4 shows and 56 acts across 2 days. We also somehow fit in a Circus Carnival in that weekend too! This was a new event for Ruccis and free for the Hills community to get involved. After the success of Opulence at Gluttony, we brought it back in a new format for the Burrinja stage, with Tash York graciously returning as our MC (and pointing out the theme of Sam’s and circles in the show…)

After a huge week at Burrinja, we had the Ruccis Sleep In – a pyjama party and boardgames day to unwind –  and then we got stuck into all the lost property and started our program to recycle all of the socks that get left behind with Upparel, AND we added a new Thursday Preschool Circus class for Term 3!

We were again able to host Superhero Week and see everyone in fabulous costumes in their class to help raise money for Red Nose Day. We raised almost $300! A special shoutout to Soniasaurus and her SUPER circus dinosaur.

Circus Royale, who were our long time Bayswater neighbours when they were stuck here during 2020 lockdowns, returned to the Dorset Road site and invited our Troupe back to perform. Troupe created a special group act just for their big top stage, and were able to have a Q&A with their performers before the show, and stilt walk as the audience entered.

Andy Phillips ran our first Circus Portraits Day, allowing students to capture their favourite circus skills in portrait form. Lots of fun figuring out how to pose when you’re wrapped up in fabric up in the air! And some beautiful memories were captured

(You can book into Andy’s next session at Ruccis happening on 22nd January!)

Springtime bring lots of events and we love bringing circus to the community. SamSamSam ran juggling and hula hoop workshops for Knox council’s Adult Learner’s Week in the beautiful Miller’s Homestead, we were back running workshops and stilt walking at Sky High, and Geoff directed the aerial show at Chadstone’s Festival Extraordinairé – just to name a few.

Troupe also created and performed Can’t Sleep – a spoooooky in-house show to kick off fundraising for their circus adventures in 2023.

We worked with so many schools and kindergartens this year, either running one-off workshops or weekly sessions. This included Red Hill Primary, who had aerial rigging installed in their gym for SamSam, SamSamSam and Caleb to come twice a week to work with their students and create an extravagant end of term show.

It was great to get back to some of our favourite Spring events including Touch a Truck with our workshops (so many people this year!), Kilsyth Festival (what a turn out for Troupe’s show!) and Halloween on the Green (a chance to stilt walk and dress up in extravagant, creepy costumes? Why would we say no??)

In November we hosted our first Community Market Day. Lauren brought together a stunning group of local makers and creators who filled the space with such a vibe – there was lots of circus fun, live music and even live rats to pet!

We started getting into the Christmas spirit with daily circus workshops at Eastland, in their festively deck out ‘Merry Circus’ space. And as always we wrapped up our year of classes with the Christmas Catch Up and open-stage show, and guys, you were stepping up the acts this year! It’s so much fun to see you all on stage doing your thing!

But, since there was still a bit of time before Christmas we even squeezed in some holiday workshops and the very first Teddy Bear’s Picnic Preschool Circus class. 

Phew! If we listed absolutley everything that was squeezed into 2022 we would be here forever, but all of us at Ruccis feel so lucky and grateful to have the support of this wonderful Ruccis community. You all play a part to make Ruccis the place that it is and we cannot wait to see what 2023 brings!