Spotlight on the Brilliantly Creative Circus Hub 2022….

We’re delighted that Underbelly’s Circus Hub is returning to the Meadows again this year. Bringing with it a plethora of amazing shows that are sure to astound and amaze us all…and as ever, we’re hoping the churros stall will also be back for some delicious snacks !!

It feels like the number of incredible circus and physical theatre shows increases every year, and 2022 certainly looks jam packed with choice…

Underbelly’s Circus Hub is made up of two venues: The Lafayette and The Beauty. The two venues are named after one of the world’s most famous circus performers and illusionists – The Great Lafayette, and his dog Beauty, who famously both died in Edinburgh in 1911. 

You can see all of the shows listed here and we’ve listed our top 5 picks below :

Circa: Humans 2.0 – We loved the original version of this incredible show (review here) – so we are super excited for this ! Ten bodies appear in a flash of light. They move in harmony for a fleeting moment and then descend into a sinuous trance. Towers grow and decay, bodies leap, and are caught, as physical limits are pushed to their extreme. – August 5th – 27th (not 10th, 15th, 22nd)

Splash Test Dummies – Readers of this blog know that we adore these loveable clowns and highly recommend a visit to share in their magic and hilarity…(review here). We reckon they are splish splashingly awesome ! See a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and the side-splitting, slapstick comedy for which the dummies are famous. – August 6th – 27th (not 15th, 22nd )

Cirque Alfonse: Animal – Cirque Alfonse takes us through a series of surreal farm fables served up with a touch of irreverence, impressive virtuosity and the company’s familiar comic touch. In this re-invented agricultural world, the farm is turned upside down! – August 6th – 27th ( not 10th, 15th, 22nd)

Circus Abyssinia: Tulu – We absolutely LOVED their show in 2017 (review here) – and are SUPER excited for this new show, celebrating the first African woman to win Olympic gold. Inspired by the true tale of an Ethiopian icon, Derartu Tulu, this unmissable showcase of superhuman strength blends breathtaking contortion, awe-inspiring acrobatics and mesmerising fire juggling with a rocking, exuberant soundtrack.- August 6th – 27th (not 15th, 22nd )

Brave Space – This looks really cosy and great for littler little ones…Brave Space is the building of a blanket fort, sneaking under a hoop skirt, an impulsive congregation in the tiniest of tents. Starting as a puddle of fabric on the floor, it grows to encompass a wondrous world of circus. Intimate and low tech, the audience sits nose-to-nose with an all-female cast of bold physical artists to build the world we want to live in, even for only a few shared moments.- August 6th – 27th (not 15th, 22nd )

Top Five Shows for littler little ones 2022…

Again, it’s so difficult to choose from the huge variety of shows this year for the even younger audience – and they all look like a fantastic introduction to theatre and performance for littler little ones….here are a few of our top picks to get you started….

The Adventures of Sleepyhead – This looks great, and had a successful run online as part of the smaller festival last year, so will be fantastic to see it in person finally !! ” She’s the dreamer of dreams. The walking-talking nap. A snoozer and a muser. Delight in this adventure to the heart of dreamland as Sleepyhead fends off the zzz…” – August 4th – 29th (not 16th)

Captain Zak and the Space Pirates – Captain Zak Space Pirate needs your help! He’s lost in a broken-down spaceship and only with your help answering questions, solving puzzles and singing songs can we survive the bubble attack! Zak worked as a delivery driver for the Amazin corporation but turned pirate and stole his delivery spaceship, now he’s lost in a far-flung galaxy with a ship that’s falling apart, he needs your help to survive!  – August 3rd – 21st (not 17th )

The Adventures of Bo Peep – Counting sheep always sends Bo Peep off to sleep by bedtime, but with no sign of them yet she’ll be up all night searching. Bo Peep needs your help to save her little lambkins from danger! A perfect theatre introduction for 2-6 year-olds with an interactive story and sensory learning. – August 4th – 16th

The Gruffalo, the Giant and the Mermaid with Julia Donaldson – There are not many young children I know that are not huge fans of Julia Donaldson’s books and so this show is sure to delight…we have always loved seeing Julia on stage, and the involvement of her family and friends in bringing her books to life. This show is based on her much loved books including The Smartest Giant in Town, The Singing Mermaid, The Highway Rat, and The Gruffalo. – August 4th – 29th (not 15th )

I Piano – The pianodrome is the most wonderful and unique venue and this show is such a good reason to go and explore it ! …’ The piano has lost its music! But a little girl wants to help the piano find it again, and together they set off on a magical adventure. They meet a mad conductor in a mountain, a monk on a scooter at the North Pole and an octopus dancing on the bottom of the sea.’ – August 9th – 14th

Fantastically Great Women….

So, due to the hundreds of shows coming to Edinburgh this August, I somehow missed this gem of a musical – Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World – which we were lucky to see earlier in the year and I would highly highly recommend for children and adults alike….

The musical celebrates the lives of Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst and many more. Join the inquisitive heroine Jade as she breaks away from her class to take a peek at the not yet open Gallery of Greatness in the local museum where she meets some of history’s incredible wonder women.

You’ll be sure to be singing the songs for weeks after !….on at the Pleasance Courtyard 4th – 29th August (not 10th, 17th, 24th )

Fringe by the Sea 5th- 14th August 2022

In this brilliant sunny weather we’ve been having, nothing seems better than a festival located at the seaside, to get the best of everything !! And Fringe by the Sea captures just that….

Returning to its stunning North Berwick location, Fringe by the Sea offers a fantastic programme of author talks, music, magic shows, seaside science, craft workshops and lots more…its DEFINITELY worth checking out, and makes for a great day trip, combined with some beach action and fish and chips !

Check out the full programme of events here, and here are a few of our top picks for events for children and littler folk….

Make Mess Matter – This is on six days over the festival and promises to be lots of fun ! Messy play for under 5s, and slime making for ages 5+ in this mega mess session. Engage the senses and develop skills and coordination through play.

Grafitti Workshop – If you’ve ever thought about trying your hand at street art, here’s a chance to develop your skills and get creative. Spectrum Arts are offering up a special workshop which includes using spray responsibly, basic technique, characters, backgrounds and stencils. Ages 12+

Silent Disco Adventure Tours – These are SO much fun ! Join the Silent Adventures Team as they lead you in a song and dance around the beautiful streets of North Berwick for the famous one-hour guided adventure. Expect all your inhibitions to melt away as you don our hi-tech headsets and bust some funky new moves whilst singing your heart out. Age 5 +

Beano – Calling all Mischief-Makers… Beano is back and inviting you to join in the fun in this 45-minute show from the brains behind the much-loved comic. An interactive session led by Beano writers. Created especially for kids 6+…

Bugsy Malone – I LOVE this play, this promised to be lots of fun. Come with us on a journey to 1920s New York for a show full of gangsters, molls, glamour, speakeasies and cream pies. Join our talented cast of 27 local children aged between 8 and 12 and our fabulous live band, as they belt out classic numbers including My Name is Tallulah, You Give A Little Love and Fat Sam’s Grand Slam.

Colouring Nature – Eilidh Muldoon – These colouring events are super lovely and super relaxing..Join Eilidh for a relaxed doodling and colouring-in session inspired by her latest book: The Scottish Nature Colouring Book. Chock-full of intricate drawings of plants and animals from around Scotland, you’ll get chance to hone you colouring-in skills as well as drawing your own scenes and creatures and bringing them to life with colour!

Assembly Locals £5 tickets are back for 2022….

So the lovely folk at Assembly are offering £5 tickets to a variety of shows from the 3rd – 7th August for people with an EH, KY, G and FK postcode…read more about the offer here .

Tickets can be purchased online on their website and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis for more than 200 shows in the 2022 programme.

How to bag £5 tickets

  • Head to what’s on
  • Choose the show you want to watch
  • Pop up to six tickets in your basket 
  • At the point of purchase, enter the promo code WELCOMEBACK  (this is case sensitive)
  • Then enter your bank details for a card linked to an eligible postcode 
  • If the discount does not apply this means that all £5 tickets for that performance have been claimed
  • Get tickets for just a fiver  

Remember – this offer is subject to availability so book quickly to snap up the offer...

Some top recommendations for your £5 tickets would be :

Chores -Chores is the story of a brother and sister who have to clean up their messy room so they can ride their bicycles. This show is jam-packed full of cool stunts, acrobatic flips, roller skates, juggling and the infamous toilet paper guns!

Brotipo – Crazy Canadian circus for the young, premiering in Edinburgh after visiting 16 countries! The art of giving each other a chance and collaborating when the right time comes is what the Brotipos will have to learn! 

360 Allstars – The international smash hit returns! A phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, 360 ALLSTARS connects street with elite in a supercharged urban circus.

Beats on Pointe – This is a tightly choreographed show anchoring a dynamic modern story of two opposing dance worlds peppered with breaking, contemporary, acrobatics and captivating dance theatre .

Muse – What does it mean to be a woman? Muse attempts to answer this question circus style! There’s hardly just one answer and exploring the question calls for some… acrobatics.

Prehysterical – This show rocks! A hilarious circus show for children and parents of all ages following three foolish Neanderthals as they struggle to survive the harsh natural world. 

Dinosaurs and all that rubbish – One small step for man, one giant pile of rubbish! Man’s dream to reach the stars leaves the world in ruins and disturbs the dinosaurs. Will they wake up and save planet Earth?

The Adventures of Sleepyhead – She’s the dreamer of dreams. The walking-talking nap. A snoozer and a muser. Delight in this adventure to the heart of dreamland as Sleepyhead fends off the zzz…

Shark In The Park – Timothy Pope is looking through his telescope – but wait, is that a Shark, in the Park!? From the creative team behind the Hairy Maclary show – see all three of Nick Sharratt’s Shark in the Park books live on stage! 

Kin – The UK’s hottest circus company, Barely Methodical Troupe brings you their five-star hit about group dynamics and camaraderie.