Renegade show

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A renegade show at a juggling convention is "an open stage where anyone can, at short notice, get up and perform just about anything". At their best, they allow amateur jugglers to perform a couple of unique tricks for fellow jugglers without having to prepare a whole programme. However, they have a reputation for sometimes dragging on as each juggler attempts to "out-post-modern" the previous one.


Usually late evening or late night and often continuing for several hours. Recent times have been midnight to 3 am. Stage space is usually small or 'intimate', audience sizes vary between 100 to 400. Sometimes the Show has a compere, sometimes not. Sometimes there is a stage manager who takes details of the next act and informs the Compere and technical crew (if there is one).

It is really a place for people to try out new work, new ideas, stupid ideas, unfinished or half-thought-through ideas, just to improvise or to do 'satire' or make parodies of performances seen on the main stages at the convention. People come and sign-up to perform on an ad-hoc basis (or even just jump onto the stage when there's no one ready to perform. Sometimes the music is provided (randomly) by the sound technician, sometimes the performer has some music to work with, sometimes silence, sometimes people do 'stand-up' comedy or poetry or just rant.

Sometimes the audience heckles - often creatively. Sometimes the audience boos the performer off the stage. Generally, it's 'supposed' to be an intimate performance space for creative 'happenings' and everyone - the performer AND the audience participate to make the 'happening' unique, fleeting and ever changing. Ideally, everyone performs something. Renegade Show is a place where many people get their first experience of performing.

The audience can come and go as they like, when the energy (quality) of the show diminishes many people leave and maybe come back later to see if the quality (energy) is higher.


The origins of the renegade show: a small group of jugglers at the International Jugglers' Association convention in the United States decided that they wanted a late night cabaret. This was not possible at the official IJA event, so they found a local bar/venue and put on a show. The idea was motivated and created by the Renegade Juggling Company (based in Santa Cruz, California) hence the name 'Renegade Show'. In the 1980s, the Renegade Juggling Company came to the European Juggling Convention and put on a Renegade Show at the convention. It was a great success and since that year the Renegade Show has been an event at the EJC. To begin with it really was just a few jugglers (10 or 20) having a laugh, over the years the Renegade Show has become, more or less, an essential element of the EJC and also of many national and local juggling conventions. It's still a place to improvise and be creative.