Amazingly Awesome Circus Hub 2019…

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The ever amazing and creative Circus Hub by Underbelly returns to the Meadows this year, bringing with it an incredible variety of spectacular and innovative shows and this year, even more family friendly circus shows – great news !!

You can visit the Circus Hub for two dazzling circus tents – The Lafayette and The Beauty – and a charming bar ! ( I’m also hoping the yummy churros stall will be back this year – that was a highlight for our mini reviewers in the past !)..

It is tricky to single out any shows to see as they all look so great, and there are some old favourites returning too – but here is a top five to get you started…. !!! :

Circa: Humans – Pushing their physical bodies to the limit and having lots of fun in the meantime- this awe inspiring show returns to Edinburgh – read our review here from 2017. This is definitely a show for the whole family, perhaps best suited for slightly older children as it has no dialogue  – but it comes highly recommended ! ”Ten acrobats take us on a stirring journey of what it means to be human, and how our bodies, our connections, and our aspirations all form part of who we are. ”   2nd – 24th August (not 7th/12th/19th)


Danny MacAskill’s Drop and Roll Live – This has got to be a ‘must see’ for all Danny MacAskill fans out there – and something quite unique in the Fringe programme this year! .Joining Danny will be highly acclaimed trials rider and fellow Scotsman Duncan Shaw, plus more athletes to be announced. Expect an action-packed display of gravity-defying tricks, guaranteed to amaze children and adults alike under the big top!                    3rd – 24th August


YUCK Circus – Discovering new shows is part of the joy of the Fringe and this looks fantastic ! For 12 + – Sugar, spice, and apparently “nice”? With our good sense of humour, we’re going to rip into the uncomfortable using high-flying acrobatics, absurd confessions and groovy dancing. Get ready to witness a powerhouse of female circus performers kick art in the face.         3rd – 24th August (not 7th/12th/19th)


Hotel Paradiso – From the makers of The Hogwallops comes this Irresistibly colourful, loud and fun show for all the family. Thrillingly spectacular circus skills, physical comedy, clowning, theatrical storytelling and slapstick combine.  A rundown hotel becomes a physical playground for the six multinational highly skilled acrobats, clowns and jugglers. Madame and the charming staff of the quirkily ineffective Hotel Paradiso battle to save their home and livelihood from the dastardly banker.    13th- 24th August (not 19th) 


Splash Test Dummies – Our favourite Aussie circus guys are back !!!! Returning with the splish, splashingly awesome adventure from last year ( read our review here ). Splash Test Dummies are here, ready to roll out their beach towels and spring into an hour of circus-filled hilarity for the whole family. See a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and the side-splitting, slapstick comedy for which the dummies are famous. 3rd – 24th August (not 12th/19th)


Spotlight on ‘The Circus Hub’…

Is it just me, or does there appear to be a large amount of circus/acrobatic shows at the festival this year ? In the last few years, circus and physical theatre shows seem to be increasing and it feels like somewhat of a theme this year – and personally I love it.

Along with the general increase in the number of shows, there is a new fantastic venue this year, the first venue devoted to circus – The Circus Hub – situated on the Meadows, and bringing us two, large, white domes (named The Lafayette and The Beauty after a Victorian circus performer and illusionist The Great Lafayette and his performing dog Beauty) showcasing what they tell us the art of circus can be – epic, intimate and utterly exhilarating.

Included in the rather fantastic looking line up are of course a few dedicated family shows, and a few performances that also welcome younger members of the audience:

Trash Test Dummies – I have mentioned this show previously and also reviewed it here, do go check it out if you can, it’s a very fun, chaotic and musical  circus show which the whole family will enjoy. (on until 29th August)

The Hogwallops – This family show blends circus skills, physical theatre and slapstick comedy in a thrilling domestic adventure set to a specially composed live score. (on until 29th August)

Ockham’s Razor: ‘Arc’ and ‘Every Action’Ockham’s Razor: Arc and Every Action – this show actually combines two pieces of aerial performance – the first – Arc, is a beautiful, gentle piece performed on a suspended piece of what looks like metal scaffolding. This piece explores the relationship between three people and conveys ideas of trust, vulnerability and friendship.The second performance – Every Action – brings some humour to the proceedings and explores the developing relationships between strangers left alone with some dangling ropes. Both stories show the huge depth of talent of the performers and also their skills in performing with original pieces of aerial equipment. With enchanting music accompanying both pieces, it is a thing of beauty to watch, and something that older children can appreciate with awe. Being quite short, it is a perfect introduction to physical theatre and the innovative performance that can be created when people push the boundaries. Well worth a visit….

Bromance – Combining dance, physical theatre and circus this is a very fun, original and often graceful show. Exploring the relationship between three male friends, one of the things I loved about the piece was the difference in their statures. I liked seeing the balance between the tall and small, the strong set and the sleeker. Starting off with a handshake and building momentum, this piece includes elegant movements, funky dancing, heart-stopping acrobatics and  a stunning hoop routine. I would highly recommend you get down to the Circus Hub to see this , with or without the children !