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20 February 2018 at 12:06 pm

We celebrate 250 years of circus!

Article Author:
Edward Dixon

Love a little circus? Then the Drill Hall is the place to be this Summer!

This Summer we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the British-born artform that became a world-wide phenomenon – circus!

In 1768 the entrepreneur and showman Philip Astley gathered together a collection of amazing physical acts – jugglers, acrobats, clowns, strong men, bareback riders – and, on patch of land near London’s Waterloo, he drew out the very first circus ring.

250 years later, there are few art forms that haven’t been touched by Circus. Young or old, we all know what circus is – it’s in our blood! And this Summer we have some of the country’s best acts right here in the city. Here are the acts:


Nearly There Yet – The Flying Bazazi Brothers (5th April)

Internationally renowned superstars Edward and Kaveh Bazazi dance, juggle and fall over each other for your viewing pleasure in this riotous double act. The Bazazi Brothers’ style is part Cirque de Soleil, part Tom Jones and part Swayze circa 1987. Their heady mix of celebrity, circus and family history steeped in tradition is a real treat. Prepare to be amazed, prepare to be dazzled, and prepare to be prepared.

Produced by Nearly There Yet with support from Proteus Theatre and Applause Rural Touring.

There’s no charge and no need to book tickets for this performance which takes place in City Square. There’s also a free street circus workshop to follow at 11.45am.

Nearly There Yet – The Party (5th April)

A man excitedly waits for the guests to arrive at his party. The cake is made, the presents have arrived, and the music is playing. All he needs are his friends to make this the best birthday ever. Enter some unexpected guests: a cycling Wonder Woman, a man dressed as a giant chicken and a mysterious stranger who has apparently never had a birthday. What ensues is an endlessly entertaining show that humorously explores difficult topics such as sharing, social exclusion, and not always getting what you want.

A fantastically engaging show for young people to enjoy with the whole family and there’s even a pass the parcel!

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/157741823

Highly Sprung Performance Company – Fall Out (28th April)

Get ready to go clubbing. You’re in for the night of your life. This high-energy physical theatre performance takes you inside a nightclub where three teenage friends embark on a journey of love, loss and self-discovery. Come and be immersed in a frantic, energy fuelled production of dance, music, aerial movement and storytelling.

Ockham’s Razor – Belly of the Whale (26-27th May)

Those that have seen Ockham’s Razor’s shows at the Drill will tell you this is a must see. Ockham’s trademark of creating exciting and touching physical theatre on new pieces of circus equipment comes to the streets. This is their first ever production made specifically for the outdoors. The creative team designed a giant half-circular see-saw structure especially for it.

Tipped on its side it can turn into a corde lisse rig, balanced equally the other end of the rope will be clipped in to turn it into a rocking slackrope structure. Choreographed on and around this multifaceted set the show will feature Ockham’s signature blend of circus skills, humour and breath taking moments of risk.

The performers, like surfers on a wild sea, will ride a giant semi-circular see-saw made of wood and steel which creaks and groans as it transforms from a catapult, a gently rocking cradle, a tunnel, a slide – creating an ever changing land and soundscape.

The concept of the belly of the whale is found in mythology around the world. What happens when we confront our fears and come face to face with the power and momentum of things we seemingly can’t change? The show will look at these themes!

(Location to be confirmed)

We have more acts to come in the Autumn and in 2019 too. So be sure to keep an eye on the website and social media!

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