When you create something weird and wonderful, it’s understandable that you’ll get quite a few questions on how it came about. What better topic to start off our Show Globe blog than to tell you the story behind the creation. There’s a bit of back story to this so are you sitting comfortably? Then here we go…
What did I do before The Show Globe?
My name is Nikki Kennett and as a child I lived and breathed gymnastics. It was no huge surprise to anyone when in my gap year between A-Levels and university, I became the cliché that ran away to join the circus. Well almost. No brightly coloured Big Top for me, traditional circus wasn’t my calling, I fell in love with contemporary circus and the world of Outdoor Arts in particular. With a mixture of training courses at Circus Space in London (now the National Centre for Circus Arts) and on the job learning with other performers, I became an acrobalance flyer. I performed in a duet, touring with an outdoor pyrotechnic circus company, BrightFX. It was with this company that I met Tim, now my wonderful husband and the other half of The Show Globe. He was part of the pyrotechnic team and show crew. Romance blossomed one starry night whilst on tour in Cyprus, The Show Globe story doesn’t start here though.
I performed all over the world at outdoor arts and street theatre festivals with my acrobalance partner in our comedy double act, Strictly Dumb Prancing until 2012. Unfortunately, I had a really bad landing after a somersault whilst performing in Adelaide as part of their Fringe Arts Festival. It was mid show and in front of a big audience. I still remember hearing the big collective intake of breath! Pride and adrenaline made me finish the act but I’d completely destroyed the ligaments and the tendon that hold your ankle in place, as well as fractured it.
The hospital didn’t put me in a cast as the fracture was small and I finished the remaining five weeks of the Oz tour in a metal re-enforced ankle brace. It has taken three surgeries over several years to get close to fixing the damage I did; the nerve damage is still an issue. My surgeon was also a professor and told me he uses my MRI scans to teach his students with, as the worst case he’d ever seen. They make us tough in the circus. That or stupid.
I had a few years off from performing, each surgery taking longer than anticipated to regain mobility from. After the second surgery even standing for more than 10 minutes became painful. It was at this stage the concept of The Show Globe was dreamed up. I had a lot of sitting down time to wonder what I was going to do next. They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, well that certainly is the case here. If I was to continue performing and travelling in the world which I so loved, I was going to need to think outside the box a little.
The Show Globe dream
I dreamed up a structure that I could be inside, that would discreetly support me when I needed it to. That I could control and make move through events. I wanted something original that would stop people in their tracks and create a feeling of magic and wonder. Simple, right?
This is where the concept came from.
It was a big dream and it was going to require more than just myself for it to work. Luckily my husband Tim was as enthusiastic about it as I was. One of the down sides of my acrobalance career was having to leave Tim at home during my adventures. Having an act that we could share the adventures was a massive plus for both of us. As time has gone on, he’s become an integral part of The Show Globe. Not just during the performances, preparing the technical elements and stewarding; but also with the creations. The Sea Sphere act was his concept as was the Enchanted Flower Globe. Tim has a great creative eye and imagination. There are at least another three ideas up his sleeve at the moment …watch this space!