The Purple Ladies is a collective of professional performers based in South East London developing cultural projects which are inclusive and family-friendly.
The collective works across the performing arts of circus, mime, dance and theatre to devise entertaining shows that are physically inspiring and visually compelling.
They have received project funding multiple times from both Arts Council England and the London Borough of Southwark towards performance creation and community workshop provision.
The Purple Ladies first incarnated at Peckham’s artist-led Area10 Project Space in 2010 as a tribute to Linda Dobell.
The Purple Ladies comprise alumni from Circomedia Academy of Contemporary Circus & Physical Theatre, Desmond Jones School of Mime & Physical Theatre, International School of Corporeal Mime, Laban Dance Centre and Goldsmiths' Department of Theatre & Performance.
Members' individual performance CVs include work with companies such as Punchdrunk, La Fura dels Baus, Carnesky Productions, Living Structures and Psychological Art Circus.
Teaching credentials come from working for National Centre for Circus Arts, East 15's BA Physical Theatre, youth theatre Peckham Shed, and through the tailoring of workshops and training programmes for communities in London and festivals internationally.
The Purple Ladies engage with various groups in the community. Drawing upon their wide range of skills from the performing arts and movement therapy, they run creative workshops that are healing, transformative and fun; and training programmes targeted to all ages and aptitudes.
Since 2015, in collaboration with Cossall Estate TRA in Peckham, The Purple Ladies have provided affordable after-school circus classes for local children and young people aged 6 to 16. Learning skills such as trapeze, acrobatics, stilt-walking, and juggling alongside theatre games and collaborative devising students are encouraged to create acts for the Cossall Cabaret Social.
The collective have organised workshops for many charities e.g. The Dragon Café, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House and ATD Fourth World; as well as regular mime and aerial training sessions at The Hive and Old Tidemill School, a drama and video-making course for residents of the Brayards Estate, and movement sessions for parents and carers in collaboration with John Donne Primary School.
Since 2015, The Purple Ladies have provided affordable after-school circus skill classes in collaboration with The Cossall Estate TRA in Peckham. Groups of local children and young people aged 6 to 16 learn trapeze, acrobatics, stilt-walking, bowl-spinning and juggling alongside theatre games and collaborative devising. Students will often participate in the Cossall Cabaret Social (see Shows page).