Going Out | Circus City

BPL436 16 October 2019

The UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary circus brings an international lineup of circus acts and events to Bristol

Circus City – the UK’s biggest festival of contemporary circus – returns to Bristol from Thursday October 17 to Saturday November 2 with an ambitious, events-for-all programme combining music, film, dance, and spoken word with an array of international circus skills.

The festival, which has received funding from Arts Council England, will also introduce new venues for 2019, including Unit 15 (a warehouse space in St Philip’s) and Emersons’ Green Village Hall.

Festival director Kate Hartoch said: “Circus City 2019 will offer shows from all over the globe: from suggestive satire for adults to interactive play for children, from social comment (with juggling) to activism and from audacious aerial acrobatics to risky ropework. 

“Look out especially for a Finnish world premiere; exceptional work from an Australian Paralympian, acoustic and visual surprises from Belgium and clever blendings of circus with other art forms, both from established and emerging UK companies. Our hope is that there is something for everyone and that audiences will take a risk and jump right in.”

Among the companies taking part are Finland’s Jäntti&Venna in a new work combining original music and aerial acrobatics, Australian Sarah Houbolt in a show inspired by the long-banned 1932 film Freaks, Bristol-based Laura Murphy – the first Brit to be picked as a Circus Next Laureate since 2012 – performing on aerial ropes clad only in clingfilm, and the mixed heritage Femmes of Colour in a sturdy satire tackling race and sexuality.   

Other attractions include cinematic storytelling from Belgium’s Company Menteuses, the award-winning Ockham’s Razor exploring time with a cast aged from 13 to 60, Plink and Boo (UK) putting on a playfully interactive show featuring toys, clowning, acrobatics and laughter for under-fives, alongside a choice of workshops, masterclasses, talks and discussions.

To book tickets for the festival (with prices ranging from £8; £6 concessions), visit www.bristolcircuscity.com 

Keri Beckingham

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