If you had to choose a London venue best suited for a new circus festival, then where could be better than a big top made of bricks?
The Roundhouse has staged some spectacular productions over the years, from the groundbreaking De La Guarda - Fuerzabruta, which marked the reopening of the building in 2006, to our first circus festival - Circus Front in 2007 which featured Nofit State Circus and Collectif AOC. In 2009 we brought back the amazing Nofit State with their award winning show Tabu and then in 2010 we presented the first Roundhouse CircusFest 2010 - the festival amongst other things saw Australian new circus innovators; acrobat back at the Roundhouse for a third time and introduced us to the incredible Circolombia who came back for a triumphant run in 2011.
With CircusFest 2012 we hope to raise the stakes - presenting work by the cream of the contemporary circus world – including UK and world premieres – alongside circus themed exhibitions and talks. What’s more, CircusFest reflects the Roundhouse’s commitment to young people, who’ll be involved both on stage and behind-the-scenes.
Circolombia - Urban
4 - 16 Apr 2011
Following a sell-out run at CircusFest 2010, Circolombia returned to the Roundhouse in Spring 2011 with a reworking of Urban.
Urban featured some of the best performers from Circo Para Todos (Circus For All), Colombia's national circus school and the first professional circus school in the world for disadvantaged young people, which produces world-class performers.
'Their joy is completely infectious.' Metro****
'A visceral rawness makes Circolombia so appealing and the antithesis of the technically perfect Cirque du Soleil.' Evening Standard****
'A show with real attitude and a great night out.' Guardian****
'Hugely entertaining, bristles with attitude... infectiously energetic.' The Times***
7 Apr - 16 May
The UK’s foremost festival of international contemporary circus featured five weeks of the finest contemporary circus with the world premiere of Trash City’s latest show, UK premieres of Compagnie XY’s Le Grand C, Circolombia’s Urban, Acrobat’s Propaganda, and world premiere of Marisa Carnesky’s Dystopian Wonders. Alongside new productions the festival featured circus-themed films, talks and exhibitions. Young people were also involved on stage and behind-the-scenes, reflecting the Roundhouse’s commitment to 11-25 year olds.
‘Makes you want to stand taller, and reach out for the sky’ Guardian****
‘Young acrobats who execute feats of incredible strength and agility with such charm and humanity that I left in a state of rapturous admiration’ The Times****
Nofit State - TABÚ
28 Mar - 19 Apr 2009
Award-winning and critically acclaimed Welsh circus troupe, NoFit State returned to the Roundhouse with an exhilarating new show TABÚ.
‘Boy, do they put on a show’ Daily Telegraph ****
‘Achingly beautiful circus performance… exquisite pleasure’ Guardian ****
‘Utterly intoxicating… wholly entertaining and unstoppable’ Whatsonstage *****
Miss Behave's Variety Nighty
31 Jul - 24 Aug 2008
Miss Behave and friends descended upon the Roundhouse with evenings of a comedy, song and dance, music and performance, all with a delicious, dark streak and an eclectic list of special guests. Miss Behave’s Variety Nighty, was hosted by “Betty Boop meets Marlene Dietrich” said the Scotsman, Miss Behave, the darling of the underground circuit.
Circus Front 2007
21 Jun – 5 Aug
Following our tradition of innovation, the Roundhouse announced it's first biennial Circus Season: Circus Front. Featuring four of the world’s leading contemporary circus companies, plus an abundance of related events.
The festival aimed to explode outdated notions of circus by placing the spotlight on the extraordinary and the eclectic - the season highlighted the genius of the new wave in London’s only brick big top.
The 7 Fingers with DJ Pocket present Loft
6-30 Dec 2007
Christmas 2007 saw the domestic world turned upside down as 7 friends escaped the monotony of their daily lives in a hilarious mix of breathtaking trapeze, jaw dropping contortions, aerial acrobatics, frolics, fun and music. Lost was an incredible theatrical event that thrilled and amazed adults and kids alike.
"...vivid and funny." Independent
1 Jun – 31 Aug 2006
Twelve performers hurtled through a 65 minute show at breakneck speed, using every elemental force known to man. The visuals and effects were stunning. Performers ran and tumbled across a vertical wall of technicolour cloth, a man ran headlong through a wall, two people tryed desperately to connect from opposite sides of a huge spinning and whirling sail and – most extraordinary of all – performers danced in a watery world just above the audience’s heads.
'Utterly mad – exhilarating – sensual – astonishing – thrilling - unique.' Evening Standard
'So astounding, it defies description – young, sexy and wild.' What’s On
'C’mon join the joyride.' Guardian
'The theatrical coup of a lifetime.' Daily Telegraph
'Indulge the primal urge to scream, howl and dance in the street.' Independent
'Do yourself a favour – loosen up. Get down. And go' Daily Mail
'Life-affirming, mind-blowing, mega thrilling – a must see emotional rollercoaster including child-like wonder.' Daily Mirror
'Physically audacious and emotionally exhilarating.' Observer
'Literally off the wall theatre – astonishing.' Mail on Sunday
'A visceral, primal thrill.' #1 Critics Choice, Time Out