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 email@example.com with full details, a link and an image.
This Time - Ockham's Razor
Edinburgh Festival (St. Stephen's Theatre)
With a cast ranging in age from 13 to 60 This Time looks at perceptions of strength and ability: how we are strong in different ways at different times in our lives. It is a show about transformation, about what changes within us and what remains. And it is a show about bearings - about looking up and seeing where we are, the power of that awareness and whether we can use it to help each other.
Featuring a series of aerial frames which are raised from floor to ceiling the four performers lift, push and cradle each other through a world of windows, thresholds and ledges. Bodies are suspended high in the air and swung close to the ground in an innovative new take on doubles trapeze.
This Time uses the imagery of circus to create genuine theatre; ground-breaking design alongside compelling stories.
As a Tiger in the Jungle
Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
Glastonbury Festival, Somerset
Three performers from Nepal ask questions about life, love, poverty and
greed. Using spoken word, movement, circus and ceremony, they tell the
story of how against all odds they survived their childhood and created
their own destiny. An inspiring, authentic, raw and heart warming
performance about life and circus, entertainment and reflexion.
Produced through an International partnership between artistic directors
from nofitstate ( Wales) and Cirkus Xanti (Norway). As a Tiger in the Jungle
will be a unique theatrical circus experience!
Transit - Flip Fabrique
27 May - 7 July
Underbelly Festival, London
Transit is about the life of a troupe; the ups and downs of touring, about friendship and the fun of being together and sharing experiences.
Transit is also about how life is changing and evolving, and how one of these days, the circus will be nothing more than a series of experiences that will have shaped us, and memories that will remain with us forever. So for tonight, we are behaving as if it’s our last show together. A new dynamism is released, the zest of the moment.
Tonight we are sharing this energy with you. When there is no tomorrow, we are no longer afraid; there’s no more uncertainties and misgivings! In a show, everything is possible! So we dare to dream; we plunge head first into the present, trusting everything to chance, everything, every single thing!!
Belly of the Whale - Ockham's Razor
Theatre Orchard, Weston Super Mare
Spare Parts Festival, Fleetwood
Seaside in the City, Wakefield
Family Circus Day at Ayscoughfee-Lincolnshire
Devizes Street Arts Festival - Wiltshire
Derby Feste- Derby
The performers, like surfers on a wild sea, ride the 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?
TORUK - Cirque du Soleil
20 - 23 June
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.
Stack Cats - Gandini Juggling
22 - 23 June
This mash up of clowning, slapstick and dance laced with classical painting references, features world class juggling virtuosity. Last seen at GDIF with their surreal duet Gibbon, this première tackles contemporary issues in Gandini’s characteristically unconventional and ground-breaking style
Gibbon - Gandini Juggling
Festival on the Close, Rugby
The Homecoming, Newcastle-Under-Lyme
European Juggling Convention, Newark
As we approach 50 years since the first moon landing, our brand new duet Gravity combines hand-to hand acrobatics with Motionhouse’s signature contact choreography. Using breath-taking balances and extraordinary trust, Gravity sees two white-clad performers in an evocative exploration of weightlessness and zero gravity. An overwhelming sense of isolation underlies the precise, haunting choreography.
HALKA - Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger
The Lowry, Salford
Southbank Centre, London
In Halka, the 14 young acrobats and musicians create an energetic spectacle which hums with the sights and sounds of Moroccan street life. Acrobatic tricks and stirring music mix the world of old traditions, with exuberant parties and modern, visual humour to paint a vivid picture of life in the Maghreb today. By turns the stage is transformed into a crowded public square, the middle of the desert, a magical night-time dance and by a crier calling the faithful to prayer.
Underbelly Festival, London
9 July, 9.30pm
Witness high-flying women use killer acrobatics, comedic storytelling and groovy dancing to flip off double standards and kick art in the face! WINNERS of the Best Emerging Artist Award at Adelaide Fringe 2019, and the FRINGEWORLD Top-tier Martin Sims, YUCK Circus confronts the uncomfortable with an absurdly entertaining and authentic new voice. Direct from their multi-award-winning, smash-hit Australian premiere season, this powerhouse comedy circus has been hailed “Everything contemporary circus should be.” (Danny Delhunty, Melbourne Fringe). YUCK aren’t trying to gross you out. To quote early 2000s Madonna, they’re just showing you what it feels like in this world for a girl.” – Kira Rikkers, We Love Perth
8 Song - Gandini Juggling
‘Whirligig’ Festival of Outdoor Arts
A series of choreographed juggling vignettes set to 8 classic rock and roll songs. A tribute to the mythical landscape of popular music. From Dylan’s stream of consciousness realms to the Velvet Underground’s troubling landscapes, from David Bowie’s soulful escapades to the rocking Rolling Stone’s anthemic joy de vivre.
8 Songs was commissioned by the WITHOUT WALLS consortium.
In 8 Songs the Gandini’s return to their outdoor roots. A raw and surreal piece, sexy and skilful. Each song presents its own atmosphere, its own micro universe. The piece build crescendo style from solos and duets to a full cast finale. Meanings are alluded to, with semi-literal references to the songs themselves. Complex patterns will relate the orbits of the coloured objects to each other but the real raison d’être will be the music. The raw and elating power of rock and roll.
The Big Bagaga - Company-ish
Cardiff - Company-ish big top
3 - 8 September
London - Company-ish big top
12 - 22 September
The Big Bagaga show is a celebration of failure. Circus is an art form that rubs shoulders with failure in every possible way. In training, performance and practice the circus is almost always in a state of risk. Most circus companies do their upmost to avoid showing this in their work, Company-ish runs into it without a second thought, head first and giggling the entire way.
The Big Bagaga rejoices in the ordinary. The artists don’t have six pack abs, their legs don’t go on forever and their faces leave a lot to be desired. The Big Bagaga show is about visceral connection. Just as much about the people doing technique as it is about the technique itself.
The show features: aerial hoop, juggling, ensemble acrobatics, cyr wheel, arial rope, trapeze, teeter board, tight-wire and is accompanied by a live band. popcorn, candy floss, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are available.
The Big Bagaga is a joyous, absurd flirtation with that which we cannot avoid. Reveling in our ability to fail. Made for the many, not the few.
Smashed and Smashed Reverse - Gandini Juggling
A mesmerising mix of circus and theatre, inspired by the work of Pina Bausch, SMASHED is a series of nostalgic filmic scenes exploring conflict, lost love and quaint afternoon tea.
This is the dark art of juggling: suitable for family audiences of 8+. Please note that this show contains adult matters, parental guidance is advised. 30 minute (outdoor) and 60 minute (indoor) versions available.
Bazazi Brothers’ Even Bigger Bash - Nearly There Yet
A killer cabaret of sideshow, vaudeville and 70s kitsch launches Postcards Festival! Join this debonair pair from Nearly There Yet for an unforgettable bash as they explore the naughtier side of contemporary circus – and stick around for the after-bash…
Part of Postcards 2019, our annual Pay What You Want festival. Book your tickets, watch the show and pay what you think it's worth afterwards.
Duration: 1hour 30mins (approx.)
Age guidance: 18+
Price: Pay What You Want