Thursday, 6 September 2012

Casus' "Knee Deep"- Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Casus are an Australian circus company, specialising in work containing acrobalance, aerial, dance and physical theatre. I had been recommended their Fringe show "Knee Deep"by my Dad who had read a 5* review a few weeks previous.

The venue was the Spiegeltent Teatro in Assembly George Square. A combination between a big top and a cabaret club, it had a great atmosphere for this intimate show. The venue was packed and although Casus were nearing the end of a sold out run, they seemd anything but tired.

I was overwhelmed by the delicate strenght of the sole female performer (Emma Serjeant), who stood out as a strong technical artist. I was excited to see such a powerful female presence in Casus' work as it contrasted with the over-use of females in circus as the elegant, vulnerable assistant, spending her time on the top of balances or being passed between male performers. The male cast members were equally as powerful (and elegant!) making Casus' performance refreshingly genderless, showing each performer for their individual strengths without stereotyping or making the obvious choices according to gender or looks.

"Knee Deep" lasted an hour, but not one second was wasted, with the highlights for me including the head balance on the static trapeze and delicate work on top of eggs. The range of skills mastered by these 4 performers seemed unlimited, and it is definitely one of the most captivating performances I have seen. I will definitely buy a ticket for a Casus show again if they return to Scotland in the future.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Great Scottish Run for Ruth and 'It's Good 2 Give'

The first time I met Ruth Sandison I knew we were going to be great friends. She is kind, considerate, generous, intelligent and most importantly, completely nuts. When I found out she had cancer as a teenager it really put a whole new perspective on my own life. Ruth is an inspiration. She embraces life, works hard and helps everyone around her. She is a normal girl, doing extraordinary fundraising and campaigning after a significant life-altering illness. She never looks for sympathy and always puts others first. She is the perfect ambassador for the survival of cancer which sadly affects so many of us.

When she told me she'd signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro I wasn't surprised. Ruth does so much great work for charity, I knew it was only a matter of time before she chose to do something BIG! She told me about 'It's Good 2 Give', how she found out about them and how she wants to raise as much as she can for them. This tiny but ambitious charity (direct quote from founder Lynne) aims to raise money  to support young people affected by cancer and their families, and in the long term for a purpose-built respite house. Based in the east of Scotland and being a small friendly charity, Ruth has chosen well for her spectacular challenge. I really wish her, and the rest of the team from It's Good 2 Give, all the very best in October 2013!

As Ruth and I know each other form University, we both know how difficult it can be to find money to support a charity. Because of this, we both enjoy helping charities in other ways through volunteering, campaigning and sponsored events. When I decided to enter the Great Scottish Run 10k, I knew that I wanted to raise money to help Ruth in her Kilimanjaro challenge, and support 'It's Good 2 Give'. Training for the 10k was tough at times but the steady flow of sponsors and supportive texts from Ruth kept me on track and I felt good (but nervous) when I headed into Glasgow city centre this morning.

The run went really really well. The crowd were fantastic and the runners all looked out for each other. A member of the public actually caught me when I tripped on an uneven section of pavement saving me from a fall close to the 9k mark! I was buzzing from the atmosphere and loved having my parents, boyfriend, Ruth and her mum Shirley at the end to celebrate with. I can't thank them all enough for coming out this morning to support me. Seeing Ruth to share my excitement for the event and the money I had raised for 'It's Good 2 Give' made all the sweat, blisters and aching muscles worth it!

So far (I still have a few donations to collect), I have raised just over £300 which is way more than I could have donated to Ruth's hike on my own so I am very grateful for all my friends and family for their donations. It has been an honour to run for my brave and wonderful friend Ruth and I am so thankful that I have been able to help 'It's Good 2 Give'.