Summer of circus in Worthing to mark 250th anniversary

Worthing Theatres will celebrate the 250th anniversary of circus with a ground-breaking world premiere to open their third Summer of Circus season.

Monday, 5th March 2018, 8:27 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:22 am
Gandini Juggling
Gandini Juggling

Amanda O’Reilly, head of culture for Adur & Worthing Councils, said: “2018 marks a special year for circus. 250 years ago the artform was first introduced when Philip Astley, who is considered the creator of modern circus, first leapt into show business with his own ring of entertainment near Waterloo in London. Since then the genre has developed and evolved into many forms, combining circus tricks with physical theatre and storytelling.

“To celebrate this anniversary, Worthing Theatres have announced the line-up for their third Summer of Circus season, where they will stage some of the world’s best circus companies at the Pavilion Theatre, from May 18 to July 1.

“Launching the season in style on May 18-20 will be the official world premiere of The Exploded Circus by Mimbre. This all-female contemporary circus production has a highly-visual narrative that uses the scene of a devastated circus and its performers as an allegory to explore what we perceive as society, and how we might rebuild it were our world to collapse. The show invites audiences into a moment where an explosion has been frozen in time, the remnants of a circus caught mid-air with everything from the circus ring, sequins and fairground horses suspended above the ground.

“Opening the main ten-day season on Friday, June 22 Worthing Theatres welcome one of the world’s best juggling troupes, as Gandini Juggling present their latest show 8 Songs. A tribute to the mythical landscape of popular music, the show is a series of choreographed juggling vignettes set to eight classic rock and roll songs.

“Travelling especially from Spain for the season, Compania Vavel Circus present Garbuix on June 23-24. Five women from five countries will bring delight and entertainment with their high-tempo family show, which combines everything from music, shouting, fun, games and even a giant bear in this action led performance.

“A thrilling collaboration between two of the biggest companies in circus and dance then takes place as NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse join forces in their new production Block on June 27-28. Their innovative show explores life in the city, its contradictions and challenges. 20 oversized blocks are deconstructed and reformed to create different cityscapes for the performers to engage with, with daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats.

“On Saturday, June 30 performer Grania Pickard uses puppetry and physical theatre to tell the story of growing up with her disabled autistic brother Sean in He Ain’t Heavy. The audience are shown how he walks, talks and interacts with the world and how his unique take on life has shaped and influenced Grania.

“Dizzy O’Dare close the season with their family fun production The Giant Balloon Show on Sunday, July 1. Winner of the International Festival of Fools 2017, this one-man show is set to an 80s soundtrack and is full of high energy, hilarity and a giant balloon.”

Amanda added: “This year Worthing Theatres have introduced a February Early Bird offer, with £10 tickets available to purchase for each production in the season.

“For patrons who are looking for the full festival experience, there is a Multi-Buy offer where tickets to three separate shows across the season cost £30 in total.

“We are so thrilled to be opening our third consecutive Summer of Circus season in Worthing.”

For more information and to purchase tickets to Summer of Circus, call the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206 206, or visit