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Friday February 19th, 2021

Spotlight on our Expressive – ARTS-ists: James Doyle Roberts

Later this month James Doyle Roberts will be leading two short courses for teachers:

 

Approaches to Physical Theatre in the Studio and into Performance – for teachers of Drama at keystage 3 upwards

Bringing Circus Skills to the Yard or Gym – For teachers at keystage 2 & 3 upwards

 

In conversation we asked him about his work and how he has come to set up his own company Citrus Arts based in Pontypridd south Wales.

James says…..

I’m a good Poster Boy for how the arts can rescue young people who lack support & direction. My area of practise is in Outdoor Arts, Circus, and Physical Theatre which all depend deeply on peer-to-peer learning, self-sufficiency, and teamwork.

At Circus Schools in London & Paris I specialised in aerial acrobatics and creating clown-style characters. I went on to perform in Olympic stadiums, touring tent shows, and the West End.  Along the way I performed for Heads of State, trained 50 Indian schoolboys for an Olympic ceremony, and acted as Cillian Murphy’s stunt-double in the Danny Boyle movie “Sunshine”. Since developing myself as a Director I’ve made work for London’s National Theatre, arts events across the UK, and founded a charity Citrus Arts dedicated to building creative learning projects for people living in areas of economic deprivation. 

Over the past year through Covid19 I have mainly been fixing-up a disused Hall in my neighbourhood. It’s owned by a local OAP charity who want to hand it on to the next generation, so I’ve been working on making it a place for Intergenerational Creative Learning, where semi-retired experts can teach practical skills for the arts to younger people. Circus, Outdoor Arts & physical theatre are a really good vehicle for this kind of cultural exchange between generations.

I have two small children, so our family worked hard on creative, imaginative play and that has required a lot of simple engineering, planning, and building things together – we had a “Racoon” in the house which required us to build classic-cartoon elaborate traps with rope, pulleys, ‘bait’, and lookout posts!

“Shipwrecks – Receivers of The Wreck” Picture taken during performance for trAction, Crewe July 2019

Citrus Arts make “Exceptional Experiences for Everyday People” in the Welsh Valleys and we believe that creativity and the arts should be a part of everyday life. The pillars of the Welsh Curriculum are closely connected to Wales’ Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 in the shared emphasis on personal growth and responsibility – the charities I founded/ work for promote the values of Kindness, Citizenship, and Creativity for all ages.

I place an equal value on working time spent wearing dirty overalls as I do time spent wearing lycra onesies. 

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