Who can resist the lure of the circus? The daredevil artistes on the trapeze, the high wire performers, death defying trick motor cycle riders within the Globe of Death, clowns that make you laugh, fire eaters and acrobats that make you gasp with amazement. From solo performers to groups and large spectacles, circus has become one of the most popular performance art forms.
What very few people knew was that this global phenomenon owes its origins to an Englishman! Although every nation had its jugglers and casual entertainers, it was not until 1768 that the idea of combining these different formats into one show within an encircling ring came about. Philip Astley, an entrepreneurial horse rider seeking a way to make a living, obtained some land close to where Waterloo Station now stands. He put up a building and drew a large circle on the ground into which all kinds of performers such as acrobats, jugglers joined his own trick riding demonstrations in special shows. The public poured in, keen to enjoy this new form of entertainment. From this moment, the concept of the modern circus was born. Every circus worldwide, from Moscow to Canada, Australia to the UK owes it origins to Philip Astley’s idea.
Exactly 250 years later, London is celebrating that event in spectacular circus style.
Booking an accommodation at any of the serviced apartments London UK would be advisable as throughout the summer there will be a wide range of circus themed events taking place starting in April with the CircusFest at the Roundhouse.
Book a stay at Presidential Kensington and head for the Underbelly Festival on London SouthBank which is hosting numerous stunning circus shows from around the world including Circus Abyssina. It is an opportunity to sit back and watch high flying acrobatics and clowning to the accompaniment of Ethiopian dance beat music. Equally stunning is the amazing Circa group of artistes often known as the ‘rock stars of the circus world’. Precarious aerial scenes and massive towers of bodies are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seats!
Also worth seeking out is the Circus Sampler being held at Somerset House when tight wire artistes and Chinese Pole artistes will be joined by an incredible performance by Circa Tsuica within the rise and fall of 55 fountain water jets!