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Witness – Circus of My Sun

Cirque Shems’y, the circus of my sun, sits on the edge of one of Morocco’s poorest slums in Sale, on the northwest coast. Each year, hundreds of children and teenagers come to the circus to try out as performers, desperate to find a new future for themselves.Only a handful of the young hopefuls can be taken on: those who make the grade are pushed to their physical limits and constantly challenged to prove themselves.Cirque Shems’y is the first circus of its kind in Morocco and its director, Alain, has a lot to prove: he is determined to make the circus a commercial success so that it might deliver a working future for its young performers.Witness joins the circus on its first national tour, travelling by train and bus to Agadir to set up the tent and perform in front of a demanding audience.For this first tour, Cirque Shems’y is opening with a classic Moroccan folk tale with a Romeo and Juliet theme.For the young performers – 14-year-old Hajar, who specialises in aerial work, her co-lead Abd’Ali and the coach Imed – this first experience of performing for the public is nerve-wracking. And for the audience, many of whom have never been to the circus before, this authentic Moroccan spectacle is an eye-opener.

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