The Richard Award


Update 31 July

A MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has donated so far! It has been wonderful to see how many people support the Richard Award. Many have said they wouldn’t have the career they have now if it weren’t for Richard. Others have simply stated “Fool Time changed my life”.  I personally can say both.

As we are so close to our target, and a few people have pledged donations between now and September, it is likely we exceed our target – which is truly amazing! Thank you all SO MUCH!


In our initial budget, we tentatively allocated £500 to the prize (in addition to offers of mentoring for all finalists). At the time we were unsure of the other costs (website, domain, trophy, crowdfunding fees (yes, we have to pay a small % on each donation) and sundry costs for the showcase evening.  While £500 as a prize is good, we know it won’t go far, but we have to be prudent.  So we are hoping any last minute donors will help us nudge that up to £750. Any funds over this will be put towards the next award in 2020.

So, if you’d like to join the wonderful group of Richard Award donors, please go ahead and donate.

Audrey x

About Richard Ward and Fool Time

Richard Ward (1945-1999) was the founder of Fool Time in Bristol on 1st April 1986, the first professional circus school in the UK and the first English language circus school in the world. It was active from 1986 to 1993 and was succeeded by Circomedia (established 1994).  The school attracted students from all over the world, making it possible to train as a circus or physical theatre artist without having to run away with the circus (unless you wanted to, that is!).

Artistically, Fool Time combined the disciplines of theatre, dance, movement, mime and storytelling with human circus skills: acrobatics, trapeze, clowning, juggling, balancing and equilibristics. Educationally, it developed the first curriculum from a five day course up to a one year course laying the groundwork for today's formal higher education qualifications. Students paid fees (70%) which were subsidised by the school which fundraised for the other 30% needed to make the training as accessible, affordable and available as possible - a policy close to Richard's heart.

Fool Time was a trail-blazing venture at the forefront of the contemporary circus movement which emerged from the counter-culture movement of Britain in the 1980s.  Its legacy can be seen across all fields of artistic endeavour.  Many of today's leading circus practitioners began their journey in Bristol. Many have gone on to work in a wide range of artistic and educational settings taking the Fool Time vision all over the world.

Audrey Michel, Helen Crocker, Janine McCretton and Gavin Marshall

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£50 – Fool Time Poster A3, full colour

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Yours to own - the iconic Fool Time poster complete with the Thomas St address

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£100 – Tech & Dress Rehearsal

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Exclusive access to watch the tech and dress rehearsals on Friday 9 November 2018 for the Richard Award showcase. This will be a chance to preview the performers who have been shortlisted and witness how the performance evening on 10 November comes together

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£150 – VIP Tech & Dress Rehearsal

Exclusive access to watch the tech and dress rehearsals on Friday 9 November 2018 for the Richard Award showcase. This will be a chance to preview the performers who have been shortlisted and witness how the performance evening on 10 November comes together. This reward includes lunch on 9 November and 2 comps for the show on the 10 November

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