See Circus

Circus performances in the UK

This comprehensive list details circus performances currently booking throughout the UK. All details are correct at the time of publication but please do check with individual venues to confirm.

If you have a circus-based show you would like listed here, please email hazel@nationalcircus.org.uk with full details, a link and an image.

Backbone - Gravity & Other Myths

Dates: 14 Aug 2018 - 19 Aug 2018
Venue: Royal Festival Hall

Experience a high-octane circus show full of physical prowess and spine-tingling thrills from Australia's hottest acrobatic sensations, Gravity & Other Myths. Pushing bodies to their limits, Backbone combines circus, acrobatics, physical theatre and live music. Sexy but sincere, raw yet utterly disciplined, it's proof you can't do the impossible without a little sweat.

Contemporary circus troupe Gravity & Other Myths have rocketed to stellar acclaim, achieving huge international success. Backbone comes to the UK hot on the heels of the company's award-winning show A Simple Space, which has been performed in more than 24 countries across the world.

Price: £15-£30

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Club Swizzle - from the Creators of La Soiree

Venue: Roundhouse, London
Date: 31 July - 26 August
Comedy, circus and cabaret – served with a twist

The creators of LA SOIRÉE return to London with their brand new show! Loose, glorious and irresistibly fun, Club Swizzle is a night of sassy entertainment at the wildest bar in town.

Cabaret sensation Reuben Kaye hangs on to the reins of chaos while the charismatic Swizzle Boys shake things up behind and on top of the bar. It’s a melee of outrageous cabaret, air-defying acrobatics and infectious musical revelry, backed by a live band with a repertoire as big as its bar tab.

Leave your coat and your hang-ups at the door and book now to join the Club!

Price: from £10

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Circus 250 Weekend - Southbank Centre

Dates: Friday 17 August - Sunday 19 August
Venue: Southbank Centre

Join us for a weekend of free workshops and performances, part of the national celebrations of 250 years of circus. From showmen and strongwomen to thrilling performance art, circus has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. Celebrate the past, look to the future, have fun and learn a new skill at our #Circus250 takeover weekend.

Friday 17 August

Roundhouse Street Circus Presents
5pm – 10pm
Circus and hip-hop artists from the Roundhouse Street Circus Collective and Resident Artist Programme switch up the worlds of hip-hop, contemporary circus and live music with an evening of bold performances, live DJ sets and interactive jams.

Saturday 18 August

Circus Warm Up with Gravity and Other Myths
12 noon – 12.45pm
Join the cast and company of Backbone for a fun, energetic warm up on the terrace which will introduce you to what it’s like been a real acrobat.

Marawa’s Majorettes
1pm – 1.15pm
Watch a performance by the record breaking hula-hooping troupe Marawa’s Majorettes.

Hula Hoop Workshop with Marawa’s Majorettes
1.15pm – 2.15pm
Pick up a hoop and have a spin in a fun, friendly, inspiring workshop led by the expert hoopers of Marawa’s Majorettes.

What’s Next In Circus with National Centre for Circus Ar-+ts
2.30pm – 3.30pm
Experience a range of performances from students of the National Centre for Circus Arts, some of the best in up-and-coming contemporary circus talent.

Marawa’s Majorettes
3.45pm – 4pm
See above

Hula Hoop Workshop with Marawa’s Majorettes
4pm – 5pm
See above

Circus250 Presents...
7.30pm – 10pm
Experience the entire evolution of 250 years of circus right in front of you as Circus250 present a celebratory evening of circus talent that showcases where circus comes from, where it is now and where it is going. MC Ken Fanning of Tumble Circus introduces artists including circus strong woman Aoife Raleigh (aka The Heavy Duty Dame).

Sunday 19 August

Circus Warm Up with Gravity and Other Myths
12noon – 12.45pm
See above

The Flying Bazazi Brothers presented by Nearly There Yet
1pm – 1.30pm
Internationally renowned superstars, Edward and Kaveh Bazazi, dance, juggle and fall over each other for your viewing pleasure in this riotous double act. The Bazazi Brothers style is part Cirque du Soleil, part Tom Jones, part Swayze circa 1989, and their heady mix of celebrity, circus and family history steeped in tradition is a real treat. Prepare to be amazed, prepare to be dazzled, and prepare to be prepared.

The Big Juggle
1.45pm – 2.45pm
Bring your own juggling balls or borrow some of ours and join in this mass juggling workshop led by super jugglers Ed Stephen and Kaveh Rahnama. Suitable for all levels of experience and skill.

The Greatest Showman Big Sing
3pm – 4pm
Look out because this is your chance to learn some of the songs from the hit movie The Greatest Showman in this joyous, uplifting big sing. Suitable for all ages and levels of singing experience.

The Flying Bazazi Brothers presented by Nearly There Yet
4.15pm – 4.45pm

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Rain or Shine Festival 2018: Look Up – Hikapee Theatre

Dates: 25 - 26 August
Venue: The Amphitheatre, South Street Park, Sheffield S2 5PN

Circus, Puppets, and Aerial Tricks!

Look Up by Hikapee Theatre is a celebration of what we can see if we step outside of our everyday lives, and embrace the world around us. Look Up follows Robyn, a child puppet, who has difficulty connecting with other people, who are otherwise immersed in their busy lives, constantly glued to their phones, with no time for conversation. As a result, Robyn sees the potential in what we might see if we look up, and helps the other characters to do so, leading into a celebration of this world above. The production explores the artistic collaboration of theatrical narrative, highly skilled circus technique and puppetry. The show will take place on a self-supported custom-made aerial rig and will explore the relationship between circus performer, puppet and audience.

Look Up has been commissioned by Without Walls, Brighton Festival, Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts and Theatre Deli. With funding and support from Arts Council England, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space and SeaChange Arts.
Price: Pay What You Feel

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Lulu: The Eighth Wonder Of The World - Exhibition

Dates: 11 - 16 September, 10.30 - 5pm (6pm Friday & Saturday)
Venue: Christmas Steps Gallery, Bristol

Lulu Farini was a beautiful, agile and fearless acrobat in 19th Century London. Admirers showered her with gifts and begged for her hand in marriage. Lulu had a secret.
Artist and writer Heather Tweed unveils the secret life of Lulu in a new multimedia exhibition. Revealing her story through archival research.

Plus new artwork from Venice 2017, and a few familiar friends from the classic Anubis Other World Tour as they return to Bristol to watch the show.

Heather became entranced by Lulu when she was invited to submit an article to Ripperologist Magazine, from this grew a book Lulu: The Eighth Wonder Of The World, due for publication winter 2018.

Zazel-The Human Cannonball will be published in the next edition of Ripperologist magazine in August.

Twitter @heathertweed
www.heathertweed.net

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Underbelly Festival - London Southbank

Dates: 6 April – 30 September

We've been on the Southbank for 10 years this summer and we're celebrating with our biggest programme yet, jam-packed with explosive live entertainment.

Open from April until the end of September, Underbelly Festival Southbank brings the best in live circus, comedy, cabaret and family entertainment to the heart of London. We've got an amazing line-up of shows in an amazing city-centre, pop-up festival world. You can enjoy international street food, after work drinks in one of London's largest outdoor bars and a true festival atmosphere on the banks of the Thames.

Our shows are short (usually only an hour long), sharp and very sweet. And the vast majority of tickets are under £20 making Underbelly Festival your affordable entertainment destination in London this summer.


Circa’s Peepshow | 27 June - 18 August
Peepshow turns cabaret on its head, literally. Join Circa as they embark on a seductive dance through the hall of mirrors that is your imagination, Peepshow lurches from the thrillingly acrobatic to the comically playful. Expect teetering towers of balanced bodies, extreme bending and devilishly precarious aerials. Peepshow combines some of the finest acrobatic talent on the planet under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz to create a playfully exhilarating ride into the beautifully bizarre recesses of your mind.

Metta’s Little Mermaid - The Circus Sensation | 24 July - 12 August
Spectacular circus and spellbinding songs combine in this extraordinary new adaptation from the award-winning Metta Theatre. The Little Mermaid longs for life on land, the Prince is consumed by the lure of the sea. When a raging storm brings them together the wheels of fate are set in motion. Sacrificing her voice to the powerful Sea Witch, the Little Mermaid and her Prince will face many more obstacles if they are ever to be together.


Black Cat: Bohemia | 22 August - 30 September
Black Cat: Bohemia gets up close and personal with a shadowy band of show-folk, as they transform themselves into the creatures which exist only in the glow of a spotlight. High art is brought low, bravado combines with bravura and the sacred meets the profane in this high skills circus show. Prodigious host Miss Frisky (Frisky & Mannish, La Soirée) is joined by a cast of acrobats, aerialists and cabaret freaks, with a live soundtrack provided by a carnival rock n roll band. A not-to-be-missed evening of spectacular entertainment.

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The Exploded Circus - Mimbre

Tour dates:

10 – 12 August - GO LIVE! at the green, Glasgow
7 – 8 September - Winchester Theatre Royal, Winchester

Step into the moment where an explosion has been frozen in time, the remnants of a big top caught mid-air – with everything from circus ring, sequins and fairground horses suspended above ground. Featuring a breath-taking mix of acrobatics, surprising aerial feats and masterful juggling, The Exploded Circus weaves a story told without words, where six female performers have to come together to seek order in the chaos and create a new normal. With striking imagery and subtle humour, the show explores themes around change, hope and belonging.

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Tilted Circus Scratch

Venue: Jacksons Lane
Date: 20 October, 8pm

See the hottest, freshest contemporary circus in this one-off night of solos and duets. Eight artists and companies perform a selection of brand-new shorts using a dazzling array of disciplines in the air and on the ground.

LINE-UP:

Ben & Fred: Juggling of Physics
A light-hearted juggling duet/physics lesson (juggling and hula hooping)

Nua Dance- Neus Gil Cortés: Quimera
Dance meets circus in this powerful and darkly funny performance from Nua Dance, inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote and combining elements of contemporary dance with aerial and acrobatics techniques.

Natalie James: DNA
Natalie is a movement artist interested in exploring people and their everyday experiences, hopes, pleasures and difficulties. Revisiting an old concept with a fresh perspective, this is a urban contemporary circus piece exploring sound, body and space – a transformative journey of embracing the value and stages of life, love and identity.

Mr Ian Marchant "Vaudevillian Extraordinaire": Still/Nothing/Found
Exploring the use of stillness and nothingness and how they are incorporated into performance and circus disciplines typically considered to be dynamic, moving and energetic.

Hazel Lam: To The Lighthouse
An ethereal aerial dance piece on solitude and abandonment, inspired by Virginia Woolf's modernist composition. An exploration of Expressionism in circus, focusing on the more natural and freer dance movement using an aerial equipment.

Sean Kempton & Michaela O'Connor: A Simple Story
Two idiots raising a genius: this piece explores the roles of parenthood and childhood within a contemporary family unit, seen through the eyes of its youngest member Chloe. Draws from influences including Peeping Tom (whose show Mother Chloe featured in earlier this year), Robert Wilson (Sean auditioned for Black Rider once, failed), Pina Bausch (Michaela knows German words) and the world of cartoon. Aims to be a family theatre circus show.

Maisy Luk: The Joy and Sadness of Being
Working mainly with rope, Maisy uses the flow between physicality, sound and speech to express herself, exploring direct and indirect communication with the audience. In this short work the character's thoughts and feelings will be central to the unfolding story. Body limitations and obstacles will to be key to conveying her feelings at specific points in time.

Truan Jay Mathias: One Man and His Ball
Challenges from the mundane to the bizarre with a crystal ball balanced on Truan's head, featuring contact juggling, dance and clowning.

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Belly of the Whale – Ockham's Razor

Dates and venues:

Thurs 16 August - Millfield Theatre, Edmonton, North London
Saturday 26 & Monday 27 August - Lift Off! The opening weekend of Wiltshire Creative – Salisbury
Saturday 8 September - Bell Square, Watermans
Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 September - Out There International Festival of Street Arts, Great Yarmouth

Ockham's Razor premiere their new out-door touring show Belly Of The Whale.

Circus meets sculpture in this exciting new out-door show from Ockham’s Razor, winners of the Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The performers, like surfers on a wild sea, ride a giant semi-circular see-saw made of wood and steel which creaks and groans as it transforms from a catapult, a gently rocking cradle, a tunnel, a slide - creating an ever changing land and soundscape.

The concept of the belly of the whale is found in mythology around the world - what happens when we confront our fears and come face to face with the power and momentum of things we seemingly can’t change?

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Zippos - Cirque Berserk! 2018 tour

Dates and venues:
29 August – 1 September - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre.

Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen.

Featuring the world’s most hair-raising circus act – the legendary motorcycle ‘Globe of Death’.

Price: from £15

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Circa Tsuica - Now or Never

Dates and venues:
13-15 September – Bangor
29-30 September - Derby

Under a star studded big top a vibrant band of international acrobats and musicians invite you to share in their circus spectacle, Now or Never.

In this haven of fun, eleven musician-acrobats invite young and old to leave their differences at the door, to dream and simply enjoy being together.

Join in the feast as trapeze artists, trick cyclists, acrobats and musicians mingle, make and share pancakes before launching into an exhilarating fanfare of music and circus. And then watch as they fly, fling and swing across their beautiful tent on trapeze, Cyr wheels, trick bicycles, trampolines and seesaws to the thundering sound of brass.

Crazy, colourful and chaotic, Now or Never is an unmissable celebration in park near you. An unforgettable experience to share with family and friends!

Circa Tsuica (http://cheptelaleikoum.com/) is the musical offspring of Cheptel Aleïkoum, a French company known for their innovative and inclusive circus shows.

The members of Cheptel (or ‘livestock’ in English) met over 10 years ago when they were studying at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque. When they are not touring the world, they live together as a community in Saint Agil, a small village in the west of France.

Their name alone is enough to give you an idea of what they’re aiming for: tsuïca is Romanian for brandy, like the party spirit that inhabits their creations. Fusing amazing skills and live music, they create a playground where humour meets jaw-dropping acrobatic tricks. Previously they have toured Europe with Opus 2, Fanfarerie Nationale and Opus 7.

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Braw Circus Festival - Glasgow

Venue: Platform, Glasgow
Dates: 7 - 8 September 2018

Aerial Edge, along with some of Scotland’s favourite circus companies, will be collaborating to create Braw Circus Festival.

This will be a new Scottish Contemporary Circus Festival which will happen over 2 days at Platform in Glasgow on 7th & 8th September 2018. After lots of hard work and collaborative input we have been successful in our application for support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. What better year to kick-start a new festival for circus in Scotland than 2018, the year of Circus250.

We’ll be celebrating the best of Scottish Contemporary Circus with exciting shows from Scottish circus artists and companies, community workshops, sharing of work in progress from Scotland’s emerging circus artists and hosting industry conversations about the future of contemporary circus in Scotland.

We’ll be making more announcements over the coming months about the festival programme so keep your eyes peeled for more info.

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Circus 1903 at Southbank Centre

Venue: Southbank Centre
Dates: 19 Dec 2018 - 5 Jan 2019

Experience the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus this Christmas. Fresh from the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas, Circus 1903 visits Southbank Centre for its European premiere. The show includes sensational life-sized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse, putting elephants back in the ring as never before. The circus boasts a huge cast of jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all corners of the globe.

Featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high wire performers and more, this show captivates and transports audiences of all ages to the mesmerising Golden Age of circus.

Price: from £25

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