Although you'll not see any lions being 'tamed' in massive stripy tents, London's modern circus scene is far more jaw-dropping than the suspicious magicians and caged animals of old. Have your breath taken away with your pick from our list of London circus shows.
Circus shows in London
'A Simple Space' returns to London in April 2015. This review is of the show's 2014 run. You probably don’t go to the circus expecting stripping, but that’s (part of) what you get in this Australian acrobatic show: after shedding item after item of clothing, a hairy, tree-trunk-thighed man then skips around a lot while in the buff. That image may fill you with terror, but it’s just one of the witty, family-friendly (I promise) moments in this imaginatively no-frills circus from Down Under.In ‘A Simple Space’, five men and two women acrobats try to be the last one standing in everything from skipping to balloon modelling to holding their breath. It brings an element of traditional clowning to Gravity & Other Myths’s show, which is about as lo-fi as they come. The company rely purely on physical strength and cheeky grins to win us over. This down-to-earth bunch want us to gasp at their brawn and bravura. Everything is done on a completely bare stage with no wires or props, accompanied by excellent musician Elliot Zoerner (who at one point becomes an amazing human drum machine). The show starts with a high-energy race: performers shout ‘Falling!’ and someone runs to catch them before they hit the ground. It’s so loose and spontaneous, it feels like the cast are improvising.They aren’t, of course, and some of the stunts – Daniel Liddiard balancing on his head while solving a Rubik’s cube, Rhiannon Cave-Walker being thrown across the stage like a rag doll, three performers balancRead more
Barely Methodical Troupe is a collection of exciting up and coming acrobats and winners of the UK's first circus competition. Here they mix hip hop dance styles, from B-boying to parkour with classic eye-watering feats, returning to London following a stint at the London Mime Festival.Read more
A big mash up of top circus dudes, 'Scotch and Soda' is a headline show at this summer's London Wonderground at the Udderbelly at the Southbank Centre. The big spiegeltent is back and busy and should attract the crowds with this big-scale circus show. It brings together the creators of circus show 'Cantina' and Ben Walsh's Crusty Suitcase Band, on a piece that's as much about not fitting in as it is about entertaining. Acrobats from 'La Clique', 'Cirque' and 'Tom Tom Crew' all feature.Read more
Twenty Shaolin monks take to the stage in this extravaganza of martial arts which will give an insight into how the practise of Kung Fu came about. Expect superhuman physical feats of endurance alongside a nice bit of history about the monks and their philosophy. They break marble slabs with their heads, do handstands on finger tips and splinter wooden staves with just their bodies.Read more
Part of the annual Udderbelly Festival, this is the autobiography of a street juggler - performed in triplicate. Mixing theatre, comedy and brilliant tricks, the show takes you into the jugglers' world, making an arresting spectacle out of everything from life on the road to the mechanics of juggling itself. Note: suitable for the over-8sRead more