La Bonche

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The Circus family name La Bonche was created in March 2012. It describes the participants of a North East of England-based youth Circus called Five Ring Circus. In March 2013 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a Young Roots grant to support the Five Ring Circus to research the Arthur Fenwick Collection of Circus ephemera[1] at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, and to collect material from 1960 - to date on North East of England circus.[2]

Sketch of La Bonche Circus Family Crest, designed March 2013


Five Ring Circus came into being as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Funding came from Legacy Trust UK in 2010 as a featured project.[3] At its first Festival it worked with the Australian youth circus, Spaghetti Circus in July 2010.[4] The ethos of the Five Ring Circus has been well described in the NE-Generation annual report of 2011.[5] That report noted that "Five Ring Circus are passionately promoting youth circus across the (North East) region with weekly open access clubs".[6]

Circus Training Centre[edit]

Five Ring Circus is based in Circus Central in Christ Church, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne. Situated between the city centre and the artistic quarter of Ouseburn. Christ Church dates from 1861 and has in a partnership with Circus Central been awarded an English Heritage Grant to help preserve the building.[7] "This Grade II* parish church dates from 1859-61 and was built by A.B. Higham."[8]

Core Members of the La Bonche Family[edit]

Steve Cousins Co-Director of Five Ring Circus, international street artist and past alumnus of Britain's Got Talent 2008

Helen Averley Aka Madame La Bonche and Co - Director of Five Ring Circus.

Brothers La Bonche are 2 young performers specialising in Juggling yoghurt, knives and compering.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Archive service guide to the remarkable Fenwick collection
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2013-05-21. sourced from HLF confirming award of grant.
  3. ^ featured project on Legacy Trust UK website
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2013-05-21. Evening Chronicle profiles Five Ring Circus Festival 14 July 2010
  5. ^ pages 18 & 19 of annual report.
  6. ^ quote from page 18 of annual report
  7. ^ Details of English Heritage Award
  8. ^ Confirms date of building.
  9. ^ That independent review offers this verdict "This wonderfully bizarre community has performed all over the North East and the UK, flaunting their passion and energy in a manner that will leave you with a grin as big as a giant human pyramid."