Artist’s big commission

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A HEDBEN Bridge artist has won a £50,000 commission to put bipolar disorder centre stage in a circus show.

Michele Weaver, of Old Town, was awarded the cash to develop Bipolar Circus about a ringmaster with the condition, which is also known as manic depression.

“I’m really, really pleased but absolutely terrified,” said the 44-year-old, who has bipolar disorder.

“It’s a really ambitious project and a lot of quite emotional work. But it’s an incredible opportunity for me,” she said.

The idea for the piece evolved from the one-man show, Bipolar Ringmaster, that she produced last year with her company Stumble dance Circus.

Featuring four acrobats and two live musicians, it will play with the audience’s perceptions of mental health and performance.

“It’s an art form that’s all about extremes,” she said.

She hopes it will raise awareness of the condition.

“I’m not making it because I want to change the world but because it came across to me as a really good way to communicate,” she said.

Showings are expected from September and a tour could follow.

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