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brightFX began in 2001 when Richard Thompson (better known as "Tat") brought together a group of circus performers and pyrotechnicians to create a new spectacular show combining all their skills.

The initial commission, from Zap Productions and South East Arts, was to produce a high impact circus spectacular for the finale of the 2002 Circus Festival in Brighton. Featuring choreographed fire performers, acrobalance, trapeze and silks, along with huge fireballs, fireworks and pyrotechnics, it was a challenging production and a fantastic learning experience for everyone involved.

A wonderful team of performers, crew and helpers all pulled together to help make the show happen, and despite high stress levels we had a great time doing it. The response from that first show was so good that it was clear that we had the makings of something rather special.

A grant from the Art Council Touring Fund Programme enabled brightFX to tour ignite!, performing at the Brighton Festival, Winchester Hat Fair, the Bolton Show, Walthamstow Festival (on a building site!), Hastings Coastal Currents and NewcastleGateshead New Year's Eve in 2003, and the Streets of Brighton, Bedford International Kite Festival, Ross-on-Wye International Festival, Crawley Christmas lights switch on and finishing up in the Mediterranean sun for New Year in Nicosia, Cyprus in 2004.

In 2005 we started working on R&D for potential new shows with the assistance of further Arts Council funding, and headlined the Glastonbury Festival "fire and dance" stage for three consecutive nights with ignite!. At the same time we were developing circus skills workshops for schools & youth groups as "brightFX education".

Early 2006 saw the core performers in Goa for two months working on new routines and taking advantage of some winter sun. The result was the initial version of "Circus Tatovski", in the form of a street show which we performed at the Winchester Hat Fair and the Green Man Festival in Brecon. We took ignite! to the Whitstable Oyster Festival, with a stunning waterside setting overlooking the harbour and an audience of 5,000 people. Other new ventures included firework finales for several events, and cabaret shows using a variety of our routines. In November we produced our first Riverside Christmas Spectacular for the Oracle Centre in Reading - a multimedia show with fire performers, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics.

In 2007 we continued to develop "Circus Tatovski" and performed once again at the Winchester Hat fair, followed by a busy couple of weeks in July with back-to-back appearances at the street theatre festival in Linz, Austria, and the Jersey Arts Festival where we also produced a week-long master class in circus skills. A commission from Warwick Arts Centre saw "Circus Tatovski" re-worked as a full length theatre show, which had always been one of our key ambitions. November saw a return to the Oracle for an even bigger Riverside Spectacular including aerialists and a massive LED backdrop to the stage.

In 2008 Karen Cruiks joined brightFX, hugely broadening our scope with her background of event programming for the likes of Lost Vagueness. As well as our core performance elements, brightFX is now able to provide a wide range of entertainment production and we are increasingly working with event companies and festivals to provide complete packages of entertainment. Teas and Tarts, our fantastic transforming venue, continues to delighte with a genteel tea shop by day and a raucous, risque burlesque club by night and The Snake Pit has been a sensational part of the infamous Shangri-la area at Glastonbury since 2009.

brightFX is increasingly providing entertainment and event production for private clients, the corporate market and for charity fund raising event.For three years we produced the annual Snowman Spectacular Charity Ball for Chestnut Tree House childrens' hospice, an event which raised over £500,000.

Since 2010 we have continued to work with Glastonbury Festival and corporate clients such as the Oracle on large scale events, as well as with production houses and event companies providing custom entertainment packages for parties, award dinners and product launches.

In 2014 as the partners found themselves increasingly drawn into different areas of work we decided to call time on brightFX and go our separate ways. Thanks to all our wonderful clients, crew and performers. It was a blast!

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