LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The UK's Six Cities of Circus announced for Circus250

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the UK’s Six Cities of Circus – the places with the most significant circus heritage and best of today’s circus performances - have been revealed for 2018, the 250th anniversary of the very first circus.

They are - and let’s have a drum roll please...

Bristol - Home to more circus companies than any other British city. The Royal West of England Academy Circus250 exhibition Sawdust and Sequins opens in Bristol in March accompanied by performance from Bristol circus school Circomedia.

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome
Read all about it in
Circus Mania!
Norwich and Great Yarmouth - Norwich is the 19th century birthplace of Britain’s first black circus proprietor Pablo Fanque. Events in Norwich will include The Lord Mayor’s Celebrations featuring a circus parade with life-sized elephant puppets winding through the streets in July, and Famished, the new show by Norwich-based Lost in Translation, opens. The seaside town of Great Yarmouth, meanwhile, is home to the Hippodrome, Britain’s only surviving complete circus building:

Philip Astley
An illustration from
Circus Mania!
Newcastle-under-Lyme - Birthplace of Philip Astley, the Father of the Circus as we know it. NoFit State Circus premieres their new in-the-ring show Lexicon under their big top in March and Astley’s Astounding Adventures – specially commissioned for Circus250 year - opens at New Vic Theatre in July.

London - Birthplace of Astley‘s first circus - the first circus in the world, in fact! - and home of the National Centre for Circus Arts. CircusFest – the Roundhouse’s month-long celebration of contemporary circus – kicks off in April. The V&A is one of many major London museums joining in the celebrations with a Friday Late Circus – Past, Present and Future.

Blackpool - Home of the Tower Circus staging shows since 1894. The town comes alive with circus celebrations, from the traditional Tower Circus to the cutting edge Grundy Gallery.

Belfast - Throughout the Troubles in Northern Ireland, circus schools were places where the two communities met to create great work. Contemporary Tumble Circus’s Christmas show closes the Circus250 celebratory year in Belfast’s Writers Square.

For more on the culture of the circus, click here to buy the new updated second edition of Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book for Anyone who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.

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