Turn your back for a second and suddenly there’s circus everywhere. This month sees the first of the tenting companies taking to the fields and towns of the UK, in addition to the ever growing number of theatrical circus shows popping up around the place.
Moscow State Circus lead the charge, opening on 1st, followed by Planet Circus, Gandey’s Thrill Circus and Circus Funtasia on the 12th, Paulos Circus on 13th, Big Kid Circus on 15th, and Circus Zyair on 16th. And that’s just the beginning…
Theatres up and down the country will be visited by circus shows that range in content from traditional thrill acts to contemporary dance infusions, via children’s theatrical spectacle and French brass band joy. Cirque Berserk, the former, is presented by Zippos Circus for the second year running; Joli Vyann‘s new show Imbalance explores digital interactions through acrobatics; Lost in Translation‘s madcap, banana-loving The Hogwallops, produced by Jackson’s Lane, is still on the go; Cirque Tsuica are in the UK for the first time, with the energetic musicality of Opus 7.
Circus Of Horrors are midway through their Shocking All Over The World 21st anniversary tour, and Ockham’s Razor are set to take latest ensemble show Tipping Point out to those who didn’t catch the premiere at London International Mime Festival last month.
The Mime Festival still has a couple of circus tricks up its sleeve before it closes, with French Cie Yoann Bourgeois bringing their suspended, shifting stage to the Barbican with He Who Falls, and Swedish troupe Svalbard presenting the surreal All Genius All Genius at Jackson’s Lane, both from 3-6th.
Jackson’s Lane have a really exciting circus programme this season that, this month, includes the Hangwire showcase of new work on 13th, and two new pieces sprung from the Resolutions residency with The Place. AlulaCyr are three women and three cyr wheels, exploring pack mentality in Hyena (16th), and Le Lien ne Fait pas le Fagot is acrobatic duo Nikki and JD examining what it’s like to consistantly be cast as lovers when in reality JD is in a gay relationship, and Nikki is a 30-something woman searching for Mr Right on Tinder (18th).
In case you’d forgotten that February hides the dreaded Valentine’s Day deep in its midst, don’t worry, Jackson’s Lane also have a circus solution for that, admittedly a little belatedly, with associate artists Silver Lining serving up a Late Valentine circus cabaret on 27th. If you want something closer to the big day itself, try Invisible Circus‘ Valentine Weekender Kabaret Klub in Bristol (12-14th), or Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club‘s Bad Romance Social in Cardiff (13th). Then again, you could go for something completely different, and book onto one of CircusMASH special couple’s workshops to try some circus out for yourselves (14th).
Speaking of something different, Wales Millennium Centre has a new production of Shakespeare’s Henry VI that runs from 1-20th and features an all female cast with aerial acrobatics performed in the venue’s roof void.
There’s still more though folks! February half-term is when the annual Showzam festival takes place in Blackpool, where a range of circus, cabaret and street performers from the UK and Europe will be performing from 13-20th.
Finally, one last mention for those of you in London: Paper Doll Militia are performing LoopsEnd as part of VAULT festival, billed as ‘the love child of Tim Burton and Trent Reznor’, and directed by the brilliant Al Seed, from 24-28th.
p.s. Almost forgot to mention Cirque du Soleil! Still in state at Royal Albert Hall with Amaluna till 6th March.