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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Carlisle museum teaching circus skills at UK 'first'

All the fun of the fair is helping to bring science and technology to life at a Carlisle museum in a UK ‘first’.

Museum photo
Thomas Rodley on one of the interactive exhibits

Visitors to Tullie House were given the chance to master the arts of circus skills including juggling and plate-spinning as the city museum kicked off its latest major exhibition on Saturday.

The Mechanical Circus exhibition, which runs until June 1, is the first time that many of the items on show have been displayed in the UK.

The circus-style exhibition, in the museum’s art gallery, has been inspired by its own popular Flying Reiver which hovers above reception.

The exhibition combines modern mechanical sculptures – automata – with age-old physics games and puzzles.

It is the first time that the automata of the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre can be seen in the UK.

There is also an array of scientific tricks, toys and items from the Museum Boerhaave, the Netherlands science and medicine museum.

Tullie House leaders drafted in circus performers to help teach visitors tricks during Saturday’s family fun day event.

The fun continues all this week, during February half term, with activities running from 10am to 4pm each day. There will be Lego and cycling challenges to complete, as well as trails to follow and unusual games to try out.

Talks and workshops are also scheduled to take place over the next three months to coincide with the exhibition.

Marian Jones, programming manager at Tullie House, said: “The artist that made our Reiver, Keith Newstead, has links with the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre – a collaboration of artists who make these wonderful pieces. And from there we have the pieces from the Museum Boerhaave in the Netherlands.

“It is great for us because we have very little in our collection linked to science and technology so this is a great way to show people how it can be brought to life.”

Cumbria County Council and the Co-op helped Tullie House stage Saturday’s fun day by giving grant funding, including workshops from local circus skills outfit Astral.

It is understood some of the items in the exhibition will be heading to Warsaw, Poland after its three-month stint in Carlisle.

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