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 rosanna@nationalcircus.org.uk with full details, a link and an image.

The 2018 London International Mime Festival

Dates: 10 January - 3 February 2018
Various venues

Kick-start the New Year with our selection of innovative physical and visual theatre from around the world, including three festival co-commissioned works from British companies: Arbonauts, Gandini Juggling and Vamos.

At The Peacock, Jakop Ahlbom’s five star Horror team returns with another movie-inspired masterpiece, Lebensraum, while at the Barbican two large-scale shows from Belgium see the return of 2015 Olivier Award winners, Peeping Tom, and the UK premiere of epic and extraordinary Toneelhuis/FC Bergman. Elsewhere there’s exquisite object and mechanical theatre from France, 19th century stage magic from Finland, a heartwarming Mexican wedding and, as always, breathtaking new circus-theatre at the start of the year in which we celebrate the 250th anniversary of this artform, pioneered by Phillip Astley in London in 1768.

All this plus a rarely-seen silent movie classic with live piano accompaniment, discussions, and workshops in puppetry and physical/visual theatre led by internationally-renowned professionals.

For people who are deaf or hearing-impaired most shows have a strong visual narrative with little or no use of speech except L’Insolite Mécanique (a text will be available) and Peeping Tom, which has a BSL interpreted performance on 26 January.

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Sacekripa - VU

Venue: Shoreditch Town Hall
Dates: Thursday 25 - Saturday 27 January (Saturday matinee 3pm)
After-show discussion: Thursday 25 January

A man attempts to make the perfect cup of tea. It’s a delicate and obsessively ordered process. You may yourself become addicted, or never want to see another cup of tea again. Either way, you’ll laugh out loud.
VU concerns a sensitive and meticulous man and his relationship with objects - how he transforms them and how in turn they affect him. A delightful and suspense-filled miniature circus spectacle exploring happiness, obsession and humanity, it puts our daily routines under a magnifying glass, reveals our manias and shows us what we take for granted in a totally new light.

As a demonstration of eccentric wit, dexterity and ingenuity, Vu is a small masterpiece.

Etienne Manceau trained at the famous Lido circus school in Toulouse. In 2003 with fellow graduates - acrobats, jugglers, variety artists - he formed the Sacekripa group, a company which works as a large ensemble and in smaller units. Its Marée Basse at the Barbican Pit was a hit at LIMF 2017.

Price: £18/£16

Tel: 020 7739 6176

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La Soiree

Venue: The Aldwych Theatre
Date: Until 3 February 2018

La Soiree hits the West End. An evening of circus, burlesque, comedy and cabaret featuring an ever-changing line-up of artists; including National Centre graduate LJ Marles.

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Cirque du Soleil - OVO

Venue: Royal Albert Hall
Dates: January 7 2018 - February 11 2018

Rush Headlong into a New Ecosystem

OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.

Price: starting at £20

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Nacho Flores - Tesseract

Date: 26 Jan — 28 Jan
Venue: Jacksons Lane

Transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

After ten years as a highwire specialist, Nacho Flores puts his incredible balancing skills to the test in climbing fearsome stacks of teetering wooden cubes that rise like mountains and topple like dominoes.

The result of three years' research, Tesseract (in geometry a complex cubic form) combines circus, architecture, puppetry, video and live music through a surreal, witty and gravity-defying adventure in a shape-shifting landscape. With every action played out in precarious situations, the tension never slips.

Born in Madrid, Nacho Flores trained in theatre and circus in Amsterdam, honing his skills at the Moscow Circus School and at Le Lido in Toulouse. After working with various Big Top productions, he took time out to develop his own show, using new technology and bold new balancing techniques he created for himself. Tesseract, a CircusNext winner in 2014, is the highly acclaimed result.

There will be a post-show discussion after the performance on Sat 27 Jan.

Duration: 1h, no interval
Latecomers: We are unable to admit latecomers to this performance; please allow ample time to arrive and collect your tickets.

Part of London International Mime Festival 2018.

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The 39th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain

Dates: 1 - 4 February 2018
Venue: Cirque Phénix, Paris 12e

Founded in 1977 by Isabelle and Dominique Mauclair, The Festival is about passion. They imagined an exceptional event where, for the first time, young circus artists would have the opportunity to present their art to an international jury and curious and enthusiastic audience.

Now directed by Alain M. Pacherie, The Festival welcomes dozens of acrobats, tightrope walkers, clowns, jugglers and trapeze artists every year in the most beautiful city in the world.

The Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain is a reference point in the diaries of all those who love circus. Artists, former winners, agents, producers and fans of the circus arts meet under the big top of the Cirque Phenix and share some of the most precious moments of the circus season.

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Zippos - Cirque Berserk! 2018 tour

Dates and venues:

31 January – 3 February - The Orchard, Dartford
5 February – 17 February - Peacock Theatre, London
20 February – 24 February - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
27 February – 4 March - Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin
8 March - 11 March - Palace Theatre, Manchester
14 March – 18 March - New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
28 March – 2 April - Churchill Theatre, Bromley
5 April – 7 April - Theatre Royal, Norwich
10 April – 15 April - Swan Theatre, Wycombe
8 May – 12 May - Theatre Royal, Plymouth
31 May – 2 June - Floral Pavilion, New Brighton
2 June – 4 June - Richmond Theatre, Richmond
7 June – 9 June - King's Theatre, Glasgow
12 June – 16 June - G Live, Guilford
26 June – 1 July - Theatre Royal, Nottingham
26 July – 28 July - Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
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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Menier Chocolate Factory - Barnum

Dates: 25 November - 3 March 2018
Tuesday - Saturday 8pm
Saturday & Sunday 3:30pm
(Additional Monday evening performances from 25 Nov - 9 Dec)

Venue: Menier Chocolate Factory

Barnum tells the story of P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth, who combines razzle-dazzle with charm and brass to sell “humbug” to cheering crowds. A joyful and moving musical portrait of the nineteenth century’s greatest show-biz legend, Barnum is a colourful, dynamic spectacle full of circus, side-show legends, toe-tapping songs and immense heart.

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Resolution 2018: Living Room Circus / Retrospect Dance Theatre / Jade Hackett

Date: Saturday 17 February

Resolutions is a festival of dance and performance works at The Place that also features circus. Each show is a triple bill.

Living Room Circus are National Centre for Circus Arts graduates who have received funding and a funded residency through our Lab:time and Lab:time² programmes.

Living Room Circus - The Penguin & I
Connection, trust and courage collide in Living Room Circus’ latest show. Using acrobatics, aerials, and an obnoxious penguin to tell a story of a morning after the night before.
Living Room Circus is an experimental circus company, creating and performing intimate and immersive shows. They devise and develop their blend of circus, dance, live music, physical theatre and live art.

'The performance was surreal, thought provoking, energetic and immensely good fun! Catch them while you can'
- David Treadwell (Audience member)

Supported by Jacksons Lane, Arts Council England, National Centre For Circus Arts, Deutsche Bank

www.livingroomcircus.com

Price: £16 (£12 concessions)

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Resolution 2018: Out of Order / Sara Augieras / Joss Carter

Date: Tuesday 20 February

Resolutions is a festival of dance and performance works at The Place that features circus. Each show is a triple bill.

This show features two National Centre for Circus Arts graduates, Jesus Capel Luna and Angeliki Nikolakiki, as Out of Order.

Out Of Order - Once Standing
The last two people left on Earth. Maybe because the world has come to an end, maybe because civilisation as we know it has ceased to exist.
What would it be like removing all life demands and established expectations? How would identity be affected without the presence of the group?
In the absence of an all-encompassing society, two circus performers turn to imagination and resilience to start from scratch. With only themselves as an audience, their new reality takes on unexpected guises. Humorous situations, desperate isolation, and inventive past-times, are all to share the (non-) stage.

With the support of Circumference circus collective.

www.outoforder.com

Price: £16 (£12 concessions)

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Resolution 2018: B-Hybrid Dance / Yu-Hsien Wu / Gibbon

Date: Friday 23 February

Resolutions is a festival of dance and performance works at The Place that also features circus. Each show is a triple bill.

Gibbon is formed of Jose Triguero and Chris Patfield, both National Centre for Circus Arts graduates.

Gibbon - Gibbon
A poetic juggling and movement based piece about self-awareness and human behaviour, with a sense of humour and a hint of adsurdity, Gibbon challenges gravity and expectation.
Created for audiences interested in circus, dance and theatre, this socially aware and innovative work is accessible to people who may not usually see this type of performance.
Gibbon was founded by José Triguero and Chris Patfield. They have worked with internationally renowned juggling troupe Gandini Juggling.

Supported by Jacksons Lane.

www.gandinijuggling.com

Price: £16 (£12 concessions)

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Joli Vyann – Imbalance

Dates: 1 March 2018
Venue: New Theatre Royal Portsmouth

Following their success at the Edinburgh Festival and sold-out performances at Sadler's Wells as part of The London International Mime Festival, the acclaimed circus, dance company Joli Vyann take their exciting show Imbalance on tour.

Imbalance explores our obsessive dependence with technology, asking whether our lives are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of balance? It is rare nowadays not to ‘log in’ at every opportunity- the breakfast table, nights out with friends, even in bed! How well connected are you? When and how do we separate ourselves from the virtual chaos surrounding us?

Price: from £8

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Festival UP! Belgium

Dates: 12-15 March 2018

Forget all your bearings, here is UP !, the Festival that makes the capital of Belgium ... intensely Circus! Impossible doesn’t exist in circus.

If the circus still transports us, it’s because it is always nudging up against boundaries: of bodies, balance, poetry and feelings. For as long as a performance lasts, circus makes up new rules, pushing aside day-to-day ordinariness.

Whether there are 2 or 17 of them, the artists in the FESTIVAL UP! line-up don’t necessarily need much to amaze us with their extraordinary performances. It’s they themselves who are spectacular and they give us the shivers with the risks they take… Some rigging, a few accessories transformed by their bodies, emotions and sometimes images from who knows where, are enough to create a bewitching world.

FESTIVAL UP! is growing as circus evolves. And it’s going fast!
Today’s circus is a full-scale performance. It brings together a range of disciplines and unites audiences. It borrows from theatre, burlesque cinema, dance and fine art. Contemporary circus isn’t inward looking; it speaks, indirectly, poetically or crudely to us about our world, today. What we experience and what can be expressed with bodies. This type of circus knows how to dream, experiment, it searches for new languages, introduces new dramatic arts and new visual vernaculars. It is a curious and a universal art form that sometimes takes an interest in forgotten acrobatic techniques and that always stays welcoming and generous.

This year, 13 partner venues across Brussels will be opening their doors to these new circus forms, 28 shows, of which 7 are newly created and 10 are Belgian premières.

So are you ready to get up close and personal with the impossible?


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Motionhouse – Charge

Venue: The Peacock
Dates: 21 – 24 March, 2018. Wed-Sat at 7:30pm, Sat at 2:30pm.

Following on from the success of Broken and Scattered, Motionhouse unearths the science behind the beating of our hearts and the memories we make. Six performers use dance and acrobatics to expose the charge that sparks human life in this electrifying new multi-media show tracing the incredible story of energy in our lives.
In an exciting fusion of art and science, Motionhouse has worked with partners from the University of Oxford on the role of electricity in the human body to inspire the show. Charge is the third element of Kevin Finnan’s Earth Trilogy.

Running Time
1 hr 10 mins (no interval)
Tickets £15, £22, £29


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Pirates Of The Carabina - Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine

Dates and times: 7:30pm & 5pm, Tuesday 3 - Sunday 15 April
Venue: Roundhouse, London

Price: £15-£30

Book two or more CircusFest shows and save 15%

A brand-new mechanically-ingenious family-friendly circus show from the makers of FLOWN.

Adventure into a world of mechanical chaos, where everything has a mind of its own and connections appear in unexpected ways. As contraptions, fixtures and fittings come to life, our heroes begin to question their place in it all.

Exhilaratingly anarchic, with an inventive, interconnected set and original live score, Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine (RUHM) delves bravely into the fantastical imaginations of two fated acrobats.

Featuring vertical-swinging trapeze, never-ending ropes, a spinning carousel, high-wire and a very temperamental staircase, RUHM offers up a playful, humorous modernist parable about time, technology and the forces that drive us.

Developed in association with Roundhouse (London) with support from Pontio (Bangor) Ffwrnes (Llanelli). Funded by Arts Council England and Arts Council of Wales.

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Roundhouse presents CircusFest 2018

Dates: Tuesday 3 - Friday 27 April
Various venues

CircusFest celebrates the future of circus: daring and diverse, punky and poetic.

From the spectacular to the intimate, the festival showcases the point where circus collides with theatre, dance, live art, film and even virtual reality.

Always innovating and evolving, circus has come a long way since its beginnings. 2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the invention of modern circus, by entertainment entrepreneur Philip Astley. His show was a hit, and a new art form was created.

Founded in 2009, CircusFest is London’s biennial international festival of contemporary circus taking place at the Roundhouse and partner venues across London.

Offer: book two or more CircusFest shows & save 15%

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Ellie Dubois – No Show

Date: 7:45pm & 3pm, Wednesday 18 - Sunday 22 April
Venue: Sackler Space, Roundhouse

London premiere

What do you expect when you go to the circus?

The greatest show on earth?

No Show joyously and heartbreakingly reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship. There will be desperate attempts and heroic failures, glorious achievements and bruised bodies and egos as the performers push themselves to their physical and mental limits.

See behind the flawless smiles and perfect execution of the traditional circus to show the wobbles, the pain, and the real cost of aiming for perfection.

Winner, Herald Angel Award 2017
Nominee, Total Theatre Award for Circus 2017

Price: £12.50

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Gandini Juggling – Spring

Date: Thursday 12 April 7:30pm
Venue: ArtsDepot

Spring is a kaleidoscopic production reflecting on the nature of colour and how we perceive it, combining dazzling circus skills with gorgeous choreography and a vibrant new score.

Inspired by the season, with echos to Stravinsky’s joyful Rite of Spring, Spring is an exciting new production from Gandini Juggling and acclaimed contemporary choreographer Alexander Whitley (associate of Rambert and New Wave associate at Sadler’s Wells).
Featuring a cast of jugglers and dancers, Spring challenges notions of movement and physicality, exploring the relationships between contemporary dance, circus and music.

With original music by Gabriel Prokofiev, eye-popping lighting design from Guy Hoare, and costume design from Lydia Cawson.

Price: £15.30 multi-buy

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Alula – Hyena

Dates: Thursday 12 - Friday 13 April, 7:30pm
Venue: The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG

The first all-female Cyr troupe, Alula’s debut Hyena explodes onto the UK circus scene in a whirlwind of women, wheels, acrobatics, dance and song.

Featuring synchronised spinning with three wheels, as well as double and triple spinning on a single wheel, Hyena is the culmination of three years’ research into pioneering new ways of working with one of circus’ fastest evolving disciplines.

Boisterous, playful and wild, Hyena is a synchronised display of sisterhood, strength and power.

Produced by Alula Cyr in association with Jacksons Lane.

The members of Alula Cyr are all graduates of the National Centre for Circus Arts.

Price: £11.90 Multi-buy

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Nikki & JD – Knot

Dates: 8pm, Tuesday 17 - Wednesday 18 April
Venue: The Place

Book two or more CircusFest shows and save 15%
A chance encounter between two acrobats: a frustrated lover and a jilted dreamer. This is the story of two hearts making sense of perfection.

The Knot is the invisible string that connects two people. Sometimes strong, sometimes just about to break, it is the complex yet simple bond that we juggle with our whole lives.

This piece follows the journey of individuals through the absurdity, joy and mundane experience of making things work.
Acrobatics, movement and storytelling combine to expose the hopes we hold for the ideal lover.

Knot is co-commissioned and supported by Jacksons Lane, Déda, Jerwood Choreographic Research Project II, The National Centre for Circus Arts, Arts Council England and Warwick Arts Centre.

Price: £13.60 multi-buy

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Collectif and then… - Fram & Dunt

Date: 8pm, Tuesday 3 - Thursday 5 April
Venue: Sackler Space, Roundhouse

Fram and Dunt tells an unlikely story through hair hanging and incredible aerial acts.

Dunt, aka dad, aka Joe Hyde, is a 60 year old man who, until now, has been working in I.T. as a security consultant.

One year ago Fram, aka his daughter, aka hair hang artist Francesca Hyde, asked him to run away with her to the circus. Her secret mission: to get him to quit his job and bring him to the stage that he has always dreamed of. To her surprise he said yes.

But life as an artist is a lot less glamorous than that of an I.T. security consultant: the pay is low, the work is much more physical, the life is unstable and the tempting glow of the computer screen is hard to ignore.

Francesca Hyde is a graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts.

Price: £12.50

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Natalie Reckert & Mark Morreau - Natalie Inside Out

Date: 6pm, Sunday 22 April
Venue: Jacksons Lane

Natalie Reckert & Mark Morreau @ Jacksons Lane

Presented by Jacksons Lane as part of CircusFest 2018

Natalie Inside Out is a collaboration between virtuoso hand balancer Natalie Reckert and digital artist Mark Morreau, which explores the inner workings and fragmentation of the acrobatic body through digital technology and video projection.

Playful, didactic, beautiful and highly skilled, Natalie Inside Out turns our conventional ideas of circus upside down and inside out. Literally.

This project was the winner of Lab:time² Round 4. The partner venue was Jacksons Lane and the residency took place in August 2016. Natalie Reckert is a graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts.

Price: £10.63

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