Albert & Friends Instant Circus was West London's pioneering youth circus. It has been giving young people the opportunity to experience and achieve the extraordinary for 36 years.
Albert & Friends Instant Circus (A&FIC) began in the parks of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in the Summer of 1983 when 'Albert the Idiot' offered young people a series of circus workshops which led to the first memorable performances of Albert & Friends Instant Circus.
A&FIC was founded on the belief that circus theatre and the physical arts can be extremely powerful tools in the personal development of young people. This belief coupled with the use of non-formal teaching methods created an environment that valued and encouraged the individual.
During the 35 years, A&FIC’s reputation extended far beyond its local roots with appearances in Edinburgh, New York, Beijing, Adelaide, Sylt, Hamburg, Tallinn, Ljubljana, Lahti, Leuven, Hanover and Paris. A&FIC also wowed the British public with performances in theatres and parks all over London and the UK including one very memorable appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. A&FIC participated regularly in the London New Year’s Day Parade in addition to annual parades in Rome, Paris and Maastricht.
A&FIC would not have existed without the hard work and dedication of so many people. Parents, volunteers, funders, local community leaders, teachers, trustees and its own young members whom all played a role in shaping the organisation. But, nothing would have been achieved without the founders Ian (Albert) and ‘Trea, who dedicated a lifetime of effort and commitment based on the belief that learning circus skills can and does change lives.
Inspired by Ian and ‘Trea’s belief in young people, A&FIC toured the world. For some, it was their first time leaving London, let alone the UK. They installed a belief that through practice and commitment anything is possible, from riding a unicycle, walking on a ball and overcoming a fear of heights on 5-foot stilts, to becoming doctors, teachers, paramedics, lawyers, musician, chefs and, of course, circus performers.
It has been said that A&FIC is a family and the foundation of that family are Ian and ‘Trea.
The spirit of Albert & Friends Instant Circus will always live on, not only in the people who attended the classes and their proud parents but, the staff and countless volunteers over the many years whom all gave time and energy. In return, they have achieved a lifetime of happy memories and enjoyment from hearing a child say "I can't do that" and then "I CAN DO THAT!"