See Circus

Circus performances in the UK

This list includes details of circus performances taking place in the UK. All details are correct at the time of publication but please do check with individual venues to confirm. Show blurbs are taken directly from publicity material and are not written by the National Centre.

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

Shift - Barely Methodical Troupe

Cambridge Junction
19 February

Hull Truck Theatre
21 & 22 February

New Wolsey Ipswich
30 March

SHIFT Explores shifting perceptions and realities through power based acrobatics mixing show-stopping circus tricks with the emotional punch of theatre.

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Resolution Festival - Circus Highlights

Venue: The Place, Euston
Festival Dates: 11 Jan - 23 Feb

Resolution Festival is The Place's annual festival of new choreography. Each night is a triple-bill, and the following works involving circus will be performed alongside pieces by dancers and other artists.

Nathan Johnston & Emily Nicholl
19 Feb

Levels is a new duet connecting contemporary floorwork and partner acrobatics. A playful exploration of the levels we naturally inhabit with two very different bodies meeting in movement.

Level. Meaning to be even, equable, on an even playing field, filled to a height even with the rim of a teaspoon, level headedness. Two artists from different backgrounds and sizes come together for the first time for Levels. A new show featuring cross discipline research from circus and dance.

Maisy Luk
20 Feb

Are we more heart or head? A contemporary piece exploring the relationship between mind and body. Blending aerial work with improvised dialogue the tension develops, as they attempt a resolution.

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Totem - Cirque du Soleil

Royal Albert Hall
12 January – 26 February, 2019

Journey into the Evolution of Mankind - TOTEM follows the human species from original amphibian state to ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage, evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

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Cirque Éloize - Hotel

Peacock Theatre (Sadlers Wells), London
20 February - 9 March, 2019

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Canadian contemporary circus crew Cirque Éloize open the doors to their new show, Hotel. In an art deco grand hotel, tourists and travellers, the famous and infamous, mingle in the 1920s, stopping over in the 1970s and 2040. Sneak behind closed doors to witness their intimate stories, guided by the time-spinning groom and the artful maître d’hôtel.

With 12 acrobats and musicians, and an original score by Éloi Painchaud, Cirque Éloize show off their trademark blend of circus and drama in a place that never sleeps.

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Home Sweet Home - Nearly There Yet

18 February, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Part-Iranian, part-Welsh, part-who cares, part-everybody cares: Home Sweet Home is the story of a Londoner who just doesn’t fit in.

Or, at least, that’s how he feels. Using acrobatic physicality, juggling and stand-up, this one-man exploration of belonging takes in and reimagines the BNP in the ’80s, broken eggs, class struggles, water fights, Brexit, biting and juggling in the rain.

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Hotel Paradiso - Lost in Translation Circus

20 - 24 February
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Hilarious physical comedy mixes with spectacular circus, compelling storytelling and side-splitting slapstick.

Meet Madame and the charming staff of the quirkily shambolic Hotel Paradiso – and their arch enemy the Banker, scheming to take over the hotel.

Watch as the hotel’s tenants do battle with their dastardly nemesis to keep their hotel running in this vibrant, loud and incredibly funny show from Lost in Translation Circus, the UK’s most highly acclaimed family circus company.

Lost in Translation return after touring The Hogwallops (co-produced by Jacksons Lane) to sell-out audiences across the UK and internationally.

A co-production with Jacksons Lane.

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The Hidden People - Hikapee & Huldufugl

1 March, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Circus, experimental technology and Icelandic folklore come together in this work-in-progress piece which pushes the boundaries of performance.

Imagine footprints appearing where nobody is walking, crossing an ever-changing landscape – and two figures entwined, one in the flesh, the other just an image.

Aerial circus collective Hikapee join forces with immersive Icelandic performance group Huldufugl to present this bold, unique work in its first sharing after an initial research and development period.

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A Taste of Berlin - Outer Circle Cabaret

7 March, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Cabaret meets intergalactic space exploration in this zesty taste of underground Berlin, interweaving outrageous characters, super-skilful acts, off-the-wall stunts and riotous comedy.

Captain Nat Cat (renowned handstand artist and Jacksons Lane regular Natalie Reckert) leads an ensemble of five Berlin-based circus outcasts brought together by a shared obsession with all things circular.

Expect aerial magnificence, virtuoso handstands (on eggs), juggling dexterity, mesmerising flashing hula hoops and all manner of antics inspired by the sordid underside of Berlin’s cabaret scene.

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Best of BE Festival

14 March, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

A daredevil, an illusionist and a juggling-computer-musical genius perform three nail-biting 30-minute shows in one exhilarating evening.

BE FESTIVAL is Birmingham’s annual showcase of the finest, most innovative performance art from across Europe – each year, Best of BE FESTIVAL packages up the three top shows and takes them on the road.

In Take Care of Yourself, Swiss daredevil and circus performer Marc Oosterhoff gives an edge-of-the-seat performance – literally – by attempting to perform a series of hair-raising stunts after working through a row of whiskey shots. Performance artist, illusionist and professional liar Tom Cassani questions our collective construction of truth and lies in Someone Loves You Drive With Care; and the funny, pulsating, almost perfectly controlled multimedia circus show Control Freak demonstrates Kulu Orr’s computer genius and desperate pursuit to control everything on stage.

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Lost in Time - JL Youth Circus

16 March, 5:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Three friends come across an abandoned house. They climb through a window. And everything changes.

What follows is a time-travelling adventure with robots, cavemen and everything in between. But time travel seems to have some pretty serious consequences – they need to find their way back to the present, and fast!

Be amazed as our young people weave their stories through acro, hula hoop, juggling and more in a fun, engaging performance for the whole family.

Our JL Circus Showcase is a chance for our young people to show off what they have been working on this year. These young people meet once a week to practice circus skills and now they are ready to share it with an audience.

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Tarzanna - The Gramophones

Sun 17 March, 12pm & 3pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Anna likes to keep things neat and tidy: everything needs to be in order. But her whole world is turned upside down when she is magically transported to the rainforest and she discovers wonders she’s never dreamed of. When danger approaches, can she become the wild Tarzanna she needs to be to save her new home? Watch as the performers climb, jump and swing through the air in this playful, energy-filled aerial theatre show for all the family, featuring buckets of spectacular storytelling, acrobatic brilliance and interactive fun.

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Contra - Laura Murphy

23 March, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Drawing from circus, stand-up and live art, Contra is an autobiographical solo cabaret of contradictions.

Using a rope and a roll of cling film, Laura Murphy sets her experiences of her own body amidst an anecdotal tapestry of body hair observations on public transport and dinner table discussions about lesbian sex.

Dark, witty and uncompromising, Contra interrogates personal, social and historical occupations with the female body, and explores where such bodies are positioned and how we’re meant to look at them.

Expect nudity and explicit references to female sexuality and mythical reptiles.

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Gibbon - Patfield & Triguero

27 March, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

A charming feast of juggling choreography with a wicked sense of humour and a hint of the surreal.

Gandini Juggling teams up with breakout stars Chris Patfield and Jose Triguero for Gibbon, taking inspiration from the worlds of dance and physical theatre to perfectly combines technical skill and performance chemistry.

Achieving success through failure, two world-leading jugglers cut between the creation and execution of hypnotic patterns and devastatingly slick movement sequences.

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Knot - Nikki & JD

Pavillion, Bournemouth
April 4

Salisbury Arts Centre
May 2

The Marlowe, Canterbury
May 16

Arts Depot, North Finchley
May 23

Dance City, Newcastle
June 6

Physically exhilarating and touchingly poignant, Knot is the internationally acclaimed circusand dance work by Nikki Rummer and JD Broussé. These talented performers use hand-to-hand circus skills to tell the tale of an impossible choice: How can we be honest withourselves without hurting those we love? Knot is a finely crafted theatrical journey through the struggles of commitment.

Created in collaboration with award-winning choreographer Ben Duke of Lost Dog Dance Company, Knot is a very modern affair told with delicate sensitivity through breath-taking acrobatics and heart wrenching dance.

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Tilted Circus Scratch

6 April, 7:30pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Catch the early stages of brand new shows by our favourite artists, performing a dazzling array of disciplines in the air and on the ground.

Jacksons Lane’s Tilted returns following a sell-out show in Autumn 2018, presenting the circus world’s rising talents and accomplished veterans in a raw, energetic and dazzlingly fun scratch night.

Line-up to be announced.

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A Simple Space - Gravity & Other Myths

5 April - 5 May
Underbelly Festival, Southbank, London

Seven acrobats push their physical limits without reserve; this performance is simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate. Supported by driving live percussion and presented so intimately that you can feel the heat, hear every breath, and be immersed in every moment.

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The Penguin & I - Living Room Circus

The Loco Klub Bristol
11 April 7.30pm

The Penguin & I by Living Room Circus takes the ordinary and turns it on its head.

What have you lost down the back of your sofa? Change? keys? a memory? This immersive performance tells an absurd story of a man chasing a penguin through his memories in an attempt to piece together events from the previous night. He finds more down the back of his sofa than you would ever expect.

The performance is immersive, blending high-level circus skills with dance, physical theatre and live music.

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Chores - Hoopla Clique & Cluster Arts

Sun 28 April, 12pm & 3pm
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

Two brothers, playing around in their messy bedroom, hear Mum approaching. The excitable rascals will have to hustle to get their chores done so they can have some fun… A generous serving of riotous comedy, chaotic acrobatics, juggling, unicycling, huge flips and many more incredible amazing skills feature in this action-packed attempt to tidy a room. Inspired by slapstick legends Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, the side-splitting duo of Chores will leave audiences on the edge of their seats, giggling until the chores are done.

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Little Top - Starcatchers & SUPERFAN

30 April - 1 June
Scottish Tour

Welcome to Little Top, a magical first circus experience for babies aged 0-18 months and their adults.

At a time in their development when young children are discovering their own physicality, and the pleasures and perils of gravity, Little Top invites babies to experience all the fun of the circus. Roll up for a gently thrilling performance which includes spectacular balances, astonishing tumbles and inventive juggling.

Little Top will transport you to a playful, joyous, upside down, topsy-turvy world where people can fly, patterns fill the air and anything is possible.

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The Brownie Club - Jessica Andrade

1 - 4 May
Jacksons Lane, Highgate

A show about race, identity and fitting in.

Where are you from?
How did you get here?
Do you like spicy food?

The Brownie Club explores the experiences of women of colour as they choose when, where and how to respond to racism. Combining striking aerial circus with physical theatre and spoken word, it takes a joyful, honest and candid look at the assumptions made about people of colour, and asks: What happens when we begin with a different set of questions?

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TORUK - Cirque du Soleil

20 - 23 June
Manchester Arena

26 - 30 June
02 Arena, London

Inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR, Cirque du Soleil’s uniquely different touring show TORUK – The First Flight will make its UK debut.

With creative input from James Cameron and experts from the movie’s production, TORUK – The First Flight is unlike any other Cirque du Soleil experience. With the brilliance of the Cirque du Soleil performers whose athleticism and acrobatics bring to life the Na’vi, the show is a visual effects spectacular where the world of Pandora is depicted through impressive multimedia projections, massive set-pieces and the largest collection of puppetry in Cirque du Soleil history creating a narrative driven official prequel to AVATAR.

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