Circus City consultation at Futur Ville 1st June

We are having our first consultation of 2019 on 1st June at the Arts Mansion, Bristol

No photo description available.

In conjunction with the Futur Ville event Equity is holding a meeting for circus performers as part of its Circus Network meeting programme. As well as Equity members working in circus, the meeting is also open to circus students and non-members.

The event consists of 4 sessions with provisional timings as follows:-

14:00-14.30 Circus City Consultation

14:30-16:00 Equity Circus Network Meeting

16:30-17:15 Circus Futures

17:15-17:30 The Richard Award

Circus City:

Bristol’s Circus City festival 2019 is currently being programmed with the programme launching early July. This short session will introduce some of the thinking around the festival, and start the process of setting up an advisory group for it. It’s also a chance to talk to us about whether any plans you have for October might benefit from being part of the festival.

Equity Circus Network:

This session will introduce artists to the work of Equity’s Circus Network which is covering: Health and Safety with rigging; Mental Health; Insurance and contracts and rates; Guidance for Emerging Artists. The Network was launched in London in September 2018 and this is the first of a series of regional meetings to meet with artists in other parts of the UK to report on progress and get feedback.

Circus Futures:

Are you an emerging circus artist thinking of applying to CircusNext Platform for support to create a new show? Verena Cornwall from Circus Futures, the UK & ROI CircusNext Platform Partner, will take you through the application process, share examples from previous applicants and be available to answer questions. Application details can be found here:

The Richard Award:

The Richard Award acknowledges and celebrates the legacy of Richard Ward, founder of the first professional circus training school, Fool Time, in Bristol in the UK. This section is to launch the second year of that award.

This is a FREE event. You need to register in advance to come to the Equity Circus Network meeting but not for the Futur Ville event as a whole. If you are coming to the Equity meeting then you are welcome to attend the whole event.



European Festival Circus City 2019 is go!

Clockwork by Sisters, Circus City 2015 – photo by Petter Hellman

We’re getting excited about our plans for Autumn 2019 which will see Circus City take over Bristol for the 3rd time.

This year will see us once again partnering with European artists, companies, funding bodies, embassies and industry organisations.

Contemporary circus is thriving in Europe and we will work hard to make sure that we can continue to collaborate with our partners to share performance from around the EU whatever happens in the next few months.



Would you like to join our board?

Handstand Arts CIO is a brand new organisation that will manage Circus City.

Our small board is looking for new members to join us in shaping the future for Circus City and Handstand.

We are particularly seeking  applications from people with marketing, legal, fundraising/ philanthropy experience and charity law knowledge but are keen to hear from people with a broad range of backgrounds and knowledge.

For more information, and for how to apply, please read this PDF – Handstand Board Call Out (1)

If you would like more information or an informal chat before applying please email us at hello(@) with your number and we’ll call you back.

Thank you, the Handstand Arts CIO Trustees


Image Credit – Flaque by Cie DeFracto – Circus City 2017 at Unit 15


A fond farewell…

Dear Bristol friends and colleagues,

It has taken me a little while to write this. Yes, I’m leaving Circus City Festival.
I have loved working in our great city the last 10 years, but it’s time to move on to European pastures new.

The UK voted Brexit and unfortunately that makes life quite difficult for some of us.

I’ve been Co-Director together with Kate the last 5 years and it’s really been an absolute pleasure. What Circus City has achieved with the support of funders, partners, artists, colleagues, volunteers and audiences in a very short amount of time is truly remarkable. Thank you for this vote of confidence!

The spirit of can do and collectivity of Bristol is rare and beautiful.

As much as Brexit is quite depressing not all stories end in tears. I’m currently working with two international networks; being Coordinator of Baltic Nordic Circus Network (BNCN) and Partnership Manager for Trans Europe Halles (TEH). So keep in touch!

See you on the continent!

With love,

Lina B. Frank

Co-Founder of Circus City


Image by: Jonas Persson


That’s a wrap!

After a brilliant two weeks with over 85 events in 20 venues our biennial festival has come to an end for this time! It’s wrap from Circus City for another two years!

We have so many people to thank for making this year’s festival such a resounding success – all of the performers, audiences, volunteers, crew, sponsors, funders and venues.
Much more on that over the coming days but for now a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone involved!

We couldn’t have done it without you.

We want to ask everyone who came to a show or an event in Circus City 2017 to fill in our short audience survey which allows us to report back to our funders about the work we have done and include your thoughts!
There is a price draw for voucher price of £50 for one person to win for those of you who complete the survey before 12th of November! The voucher can be used in a variety of shops.


Announcing our Bristol Cabaret Commission!


We are pleased to announce that the Bristol Cabaret Commission is going to Amy Nicholls!

‘I am really excited to be working with Circus City on this unique cabaret! Come along to see us make complete fools of ourselves!’ – Amy

Bristol based company Lavrak present an interactive comedy cabaret, subtly referencing and celebrating the Bristol culture.

Cirque Du Sillé is a circus show full of mesmerising tricks and stylish quips, each act bursting with character. The range of skill spans from burlesque to ballet and from aerial to acting.  With a comedian compare who seamlessly seals the show together with his witty commentary, developing a relationship with the audience as he auctions off the performers on ebay. Interact or just react to this fun and flirty phenomenon.

Amy’s cabaret event will be showing at Faith Space chapel in central Bristol Redcliffe area – a stones throw from the centre adding another venue to our long list of partners in the city.

BOOK A TICKET and visit the event listing! 


Style, comedy and circus all rolled into one; and so cleverly tied together. I wish I could see it again.’ – Audience member

Performers: Lucinda Zimmer, Emma Catherine, Ollie Jibb, Amy Nicholls, Richard James
Technical: Allie Humphrey
Assistant Producer: Molly Birnie

Company: Lavrak
Director/ Producer: Amy Nicholls

Image by: Jack Matthews


Call out: Circus Voices

Circus City festival is offering and opportunity to take part in a three-day development workshop from 19-21st October 2017, actively exploring critical languages around circus arts and ways to talk about work effectively. Places are FREE (limited capacity). The scheme is run by Kate Kavanaugh of the Circus Diaries in collaboration with Circus City.

Applications must be received by 30th September, but places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis as and when we receive suitable applications.

A full schedule of activity will be available after the application process has closed, and will include visits to The Bekkrell Effect (Thurs 19th), Longshot (Fri 20th) and Swing Circus (Sat 21st).

If you have any queries please email


To find out more about the Circus Diaries go to

Image by Groupe Bekkrell


CALL OUT: Bristol Cabaret Commission

Bristol Cabaret Commission 

Circus City would like to hand over a part of the programme within this years festival to the artists and makers of Bristol. This call out is open to artists based in the South West for a 2-3 cabaret performances in the Circus City official programme.

What sort of cabaret you want to present is up to you to dream up, we just want you to tell us what you want to do, for it to be connected to circus and we want it to be brilliant. The cabaret created can take any shape or form as long as it is conceivable and safe. You are very welcome to collaborate with other artforms than circus.

As the name suggests; This commission is for you if you feel motivated and inspired by our great city Bristol, the artists that live within it and you want to make something of that to share with our audience.

Support the commission includes:

  • Up to £2000-3000 commission fee
  • Producer advice and feedback during development and realisation.
  • An amount of production and marketing support to be agreed.
  • Box Office
  • Liaison with performance space

How to apply

1. Tell us what your idea by writing a short proposal (1000 words max).

Please include:

– information about who you are

– what kind of cabaret you would like to do and the other people involved/performing

– what support you will need

– total performance length including all acts (suggested 60-120mins)

– which audience group it’s for (general cabaret, fetish, family, niche interest etc)

– where you would like to do it – if you don’t know then what type of space

– idea dates between 12-29th of October

– links to websites and other information about you and your work.

2. Please provide us with an outline of the budget of how you propose to spend the commission fee. This does not need to be particularly detailed, but should give us an idea of how you are spending the money.

3. You’re welcome to include up to 5 still images of your work – please let us know which one you would be using as lead image to market the cabaret. Please do not send us DVDs or other physical objects.

4. Your phone number and email – you need to be available to speak on the phone at some point on the 12th and 13th of September

Please email your completed application to with the subject line: [YOUR NAME] CABARET COMMISSION PROPOSAL

Please make sure the proposal, budget and any attachments are all in the same ONE email. You don’t need to submit all of the above, but the more the better. If you have dyslexia or a disability that makes the above difficult to complete in writing you are very welcome to send the info in a format that works for you.

Deadline for applications: 9.00am, Monday 11th of September 2017.

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th of September 2017.

We’ll let you know if you’ve been shortlisted by Monday 11th of September end of play.

Image credit: Photo by Joe Clarke from The Invisible Circus Cabarets, Circus City 2015


CALL OUT: Circus Shorts

Eclyptic perform as part of Circus Shorts in Circus City 2015, Photo by Joe Clarke


We are now accepting proposals for the Circus Shorts event which will be part of Circus City Festival on the 27th of October 2017


Circus City is teaming up with Circomedia and Trinity Centre to present 3 short pieces of circus theatre from individuals/companies.

As a leading circus festival in the UK, Circus City is committed to supporting and showcasing the next generation of circus performers and companies. Circus Shorts will provide a platform for ground floor acts of no more than 15 – 20 minutes. This can either be; an extract from a full length piece, a self contained 15 – 20 minute piece.

The audience will be public, with invites extended to industry professionals.

Support in kind we can offer:
– A platform to present at Circus Shorts on Friday 27th October at Trinity Centre, Bristol.
A 3 days residency at Circomedia for rehearsals/R&D new work which the artist/s would like to develop. This can be a new piece and ideally not same piece which is being presented within the Circus Shorts programme, but to use as a way of developing something new.
Feedback from Co-Directors Lina B. Frank / Kate Hartoch and Nicolas Young Artistic and Managing Director of Circomedia.
– Cash support: £250 performing fees


Application process:
Please submit a short proposal (max 800 words) which includes a description of the piece you would like to present and information on what you would use the residency for.

Along with your proposal please include:
– Company or Artist history/CV (previous shows, touring history if applicable)
– Technical Specifications for the piece. It needs to be a ground floor piece.
– Link to an online video of the piece or work-in-progress of the piece you would like to present
– Any other online links; website, blog etc…

The deadline for applications is: 10am on Monday 18th September. Selected applicants will be notified by: Tuesday 26th September.

Please note to be considered you must be available for the entire day on the 27th of October.

Please email all applications to:

Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol BS2 0NW


For questions please contact:
Marie Faucher –




We’re back this October (12th to 29th) with an ambitious programme of shows, interactive events, workshops, talks and much more taking place at over 15 locations across Bristol.

Circus City is the UK’s fastest growing circus festival, attracting the very best contemporary circus from across the globe and showcasing Bristol’s abundant homegrown talent. Circus City aims to put Bristol on the map as an international capital of contemporary circus.

One of this year’s big highlights is a collaboration with Bristol Old Vic bringing the critically acclaimed French show, The Bekkrell Effect, to Bristol for its UK premiere. Inspired by physicist Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity, The Bekkrell Effect is an all-female show described as ‘part riot grrrl pop song, part circus spectacle…combining the power of punk with risk and flare’.

Circomedia’s performance space – a converted church in St Pauls – will host a number of events including Fauna, the Adelaide Fringe award winning show featuring ‘wild creatures in a beautifully controlled acrobatic story’; Yablochkov Candle, a cabaret show from Finland combining jazz and aerial performance and Around, a family show about the life of a small circus group accompanied by live music.

The trailblazing aerial theatre company, Okham’s Razor, will bring their Edinburgh Festival award-winning show, Tipping Point, to the 1532 Theatre at Bristol Grammar School. Described as ‘a feast of high risk brilliance performed with grace and power’, five performers transform seemingly simple metal poles into a rich landscape of images.

Circus is a powerful medium for storytelling and there are two shows in the programme which are particularly personal and poignant. As a Tiger in the Jungle tells the moving story of being trafficked into Indian Circus from Kathmandu and Nepal and in He Ain’t Heavy, Grania Pickard uses physical theatre, aerial circus and audience interaction to tell the story of growing up with her disabled, autistic brother Sean.

The Trinity Centre is another of our key venues with Swing Circus staging a weekend extravaganza of swing dance featuring circus and dance shows, specialist choreographers and workshops to get your toes tapping.

And in a major coup for the festival, Circus City 2017 is sponsored by Dash: Digital Currency, making it the first major arts event to be sponsored by a cryptocurrency. During the festival visitors will be able to spend Dash at the Milk Bar, our hub in Old Market, and on selected events and products.

“There’s something for everyone in the Circus City programme – music lovers, dancers, circus aficionados, theatre goers, party animals and families,” said Circus City co-director Kate Hartoch. “The very nature of circus is to push the limits of what’s possible in pursuit of the extraordinary – we encourage you to keep this spirit in mind and take a risk on something new.”

For further information and booking visit our What’s On page.