About Us

Shifting Sands Theatre was founded to create comic, moving, physical theatre using clowning, text, animation and play combined with strong visual design.

The result is stimulating and accessible theatre re-interpreting classical texts and devising new work which is enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Artistic Director Gerry Flanagan is one of England 's most sought after Clown practitioners and Shifting Sands has grown out of his work.

The company tour to small scale venues nationally, perform mad-cap street theatre and offer education workshops and residencies tailored to specific needs. We encourage the development of new talent via teaching and performance projects for aspiring performers of all ages.


Since our formation in 1998 we have created 5 major shows, 1 regional tour and 3 national tours, performed in more than 200 venues to over 10 0000 people aged from 8 months to 80. We have followed the sunshine (and been rained on) at countless street events and worked with people of all ages and abilities to enable them to experience the sense of play that is core to our work. .

Gerry Flanagan - Artistic Director

Gerry Flanagan has worked with many companies including Theatre de Complicite, the David Glass Ensemble and Bubble Theatre. He worked in Italy for two years, teaching clowning and performing with Clown Selvaggio.

In 1991 he co-founded Commotion. Joint Artistic Director of the company, he appeared in all their shows – Point of Departure, No Matter What, The Quest for Don Quixote, Don Juan, and Get Out of Here. Directors for the company included John Wright, Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermot. 

Gerry’s directing credits include Karton NachHawaii for Theatre Kurt in Frankfurt; Window toThe Moon and Wolf at The Door for Phil Gunderson; Fools!Fools!Fools! and Don’t Let Go for Chung Ying Theatre Company in Hong Kong ; When in Rome and I am a Viking for Gonzo Moose; The Mask of Prospero for Glasshouse Productions. He has directed all the Shifting Sands shows. 

Gerry has taught clown and related subjects for the last twelve years in universities, colleges, schools plus the Circus Space and the City Literary Institute, London