Creative and Curious Circus Hub 2018…

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The superbly brilliant Circus Hub by Underbelly returns to the Meadows this year, bringing with it a whole host of spectacular and fun shows and this year, even more family friendly circus shows – yay !!!

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 last summer !)..

Every single show in this venue looks like it will be fantastic, but here are my top five picks of family friendly shows, with some old favourites returning !!! :

Arr We There Yet ? – Returning after last year’s huge success, this is a rip-roaring and swashbuckling adventure in which three sailors hit the high seas in search of treasure! A scallywag pirate, a muscular sailor and a chef with a seafood allergy make for a hopeless crew as they fight for the title of Captain aboard the ship. These acrobatic pirates turn ship life upside down!                 4th – 25th August  12pm  The shows on 14 and 21 August will be Relaxed Performances.

 

Splash Test Dummies – Yay !!! This trio of very loveable acrobats return with a new adventure for us this year . Splash Test Dummies are here, ready to roll out their beach towels and spring into a brand-new 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.   4th – 25th August 1pm

 

Circa : Wolfgang – After the sell out success last year of Humans – Circa return with a family show this year which is sure to be stunning. Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amidst a puff of powder, wigged and ready to throw musical madness into a crescendo of dives, swoops and twirls. Featuring mischievous acrobats and musicians, Wolfgang reinvents the composer’s magical music with circus twists.  Watch as the notes are physically lifted off the page as performers bring the renowned compositions to life amidst a storm of powder, tumbles and crashes, all under the eccentric swirl of the conductor’s baton.   4th – 25th August 2pm

 

Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams – Back again, we LOVED this last year – full of colour, energy and music !! An unashamedly joyful mix of astonishing stunts and enchanted adventure, Circus Abyssinia follows the journey of two Ethiopian brothers whose dream of joining the circus became a reality. Plunged into a world of daredevil wonders, they encounter a host of other circus dreamers: dancing, contorting, gravity-defying figures, all weaving tales of their own.              4th – 25th August 3pm

Universoul Circus : Hip Hop Under The Big Top – This newcomer to the Circus Hub looks fab, combining great music with great acrobatics – one to definitely check out!  It’s Hip-Hop Under the Big Top, combining edge-of-your-seat performances, stunning spectacle, hilarious audience participation and a soundtrack that will blow the roof off the tent. UniverSoul’s international cast includes high-wire artists, slapstick comedy, jaw-dropping contortionists, Caribbean limbo fire-dancers and global internet sensations Fresh The Clowns.                                4th – 25th August 5pm

 

Wowee….that’s ALOT of circus to be seeing, we are very very lucky !!!

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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 !