John Lonergan’s Circus

In this four-part documentary series, former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan works with eight young people from disadvantaged communities around Dublin who have run away and joined the circus. Most of the teenagers are early school-leavers. Some have had difficulties in either their home lives or community lives. The group, most of whom had barely left their own neighbourhoods, spend two days a week with the Belfast Community Circus School and their professional instructors. The School’s mission is to “transform lives and communities through the power of circus arts and street theatre”. This is an internationally tried and tested method of helping at risk young people learn valuable social, civic and interpersonal skills. The series is not designed to turn these young people into professional circus performers but aims to help potentially wayward teenagers by boosting their creativity, self-esteem, teamwork and discipline.

RTÉ One, 4 x 52′ documentary series, 2013

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