Spectacular Circus Performers, Stilt Walkers, Fire Performers and Circus Workshops for Hire
Circus Antics Entertainment supplies some of the best circus performers in the UK, with a diverse array of fabulous circus acts to choose from including: Fire Performers, Circus Workshops, Stilt Walkers, Hula Hoop, Jugglers, Aerialists, Acrobats, Balloon Modellers, Bubbleologists and Street Performers.
Our circus performers been captivating audiences, throughout UK and internationally, for over 25 years. Circus Antics are adept at choosing the right entertainment to suit all types of events. Whether it’s a fire performer for a wedding or private party, circus workshops or stilt walkers for community fete or outdoor festival, outdoor festival or acrobats for a corporate event, we have amazing circus acts that are guaranteed to wow your guests and create a fun and exciting atmosphere.
We have extraordinary acts to suit many themes including: Christmas themed stilt walkers, fire performers sure to add that extra sparkle to the magic that is Christmas. We have wedding entertainment to make your day extra special. Why not book some fun summer themed street performers, circus workshops or stilt walkers for your summer fete or outdoor festival?. We have halloween themed stilt walkers and bonfire night group fire shows. If you need inspiration or ideas with a theme we can assist in creating a bespoke entertainment package specifically suited to your event.
WE ARE TRUSTED, WE ARE VALUED
Circus Antics are based in Bristol in the southwest of England, but we work all over the UK including Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Midlands, Wales and all over the world. Our clients and customers are important to us and matching the right circus entertainment to suit each unique event is what we do best. Whether it’s a wedding, a private party, a community fete, an outdoor festival or a corporate event, then look no further, we have unique stunning circus acts guaranteed to captivate your guests and create a fun, exciting atmosphere.
Over the years we have sourced and supplied some the best circus performers in the UK. With a diverse range of extraordinary acts to choose from Fire performers to Stilt walkers, Acrobats to Jugglers, Balloon modellers to Circus Workshops, we have all your entertainment needs catered for.
We provide exciting circus workshops for Children’s Birthday Parties, Special Occasions, Community Events, Schools and Corporate Team Building days.
Participants are guaranteed to have fun in our circus workshops learning many different Circus Skills. Our circus workshops include: Juggling, Balls, Clubs, Rings, Scarves, Poi Swinging, Diablo, Devil stick, Balancing Pole & Feathers, Staff Spinning, Plate spinning, Hat manipulation, Stilt walking, Unicycle
We provide stylish, awe-inspiring circus entertainment guaranteed to enhance your event and captivate your audience. We have a diverse range of spectacular acts to choose from: Aerialists to Balloon modellers, Contortionists to Circus Workshops, Fire Performers to Hula shows, Stilt Walkers to Jugglers. Our stilt walkers have a huge range of colourful and beautiful stilt walking costumes. Our fire performers have a unique theatrical flare for creating mesmerising and high-impact fire shows. We pride ourselves in being able to tailor our awe-inspiring acts and performances to your specific needs, and offer bespoke themed entertainment packages making your event planning easy. If you don’t see the act you require or fancy something new or unique we are happy to discuss your ideas.
A Circus Girl
My background and experience as a circus artist So how did you become a Circus performer? This is the most frequently asked question! Well I have been working as a professional circus performer for 25 years. My main specialist skills have included Aerial (Rope, Silks, Hoop, Trapeze, Harness), Acrobalance, Stilt-Walking and Fire Performance and teaching Circus Skills workshops. It all started when my parents went to many Stonehenge and Glastonbury Festivals during the 70’s and 80’s. I was exposed to the performing arts from an early age. I was inspired by music and circus theatre shows I saw when growing up. I loved to dress up and make shows at home and enjoyed taking part in productions at school. One of my mums friends called Tara Purvis who I met at a festival was a fire spinner and was inspired to learn how to juggle and spin fire from the age of 11! I self taught myself some club spinning tricks and starting performing fire at raves and parties when I was 12/13. This is what drove my passion for performing. I was lucky enough to meet a group called Chemeira an all women fire and trapeze theatre company at Glastonbury and asked Lynn Carrol (another friend of my mums) if I could do my 2 weeks work experience at school with them. So at the age of 14 off I went up to Middlesborough to work alongside some inspirational women doing amazing circus theatre. I joined in with their aerial training and watched rehearsals. I was hooked! I knew at this point that this is what I wanted to do. We toured to Amersfoort in Holland during my 2 weeks and I helped out with the shows and day to day tasks. I had a chance to perform fire in the show thoroughly enjoyed every moment! At the time my main inspirational companies out there were Scarabeus, a dynamic aerial theatre company who had amazing costumes and did site specific aerial work. I decided I would research circus schools I could go to once I had finished my G.C.S.E’s and found Fool Time circus school in Bristol. I was only 16 at the time and needed to be 18 to attend one of their courses. I decided to go study BTEC in performing arts in Nottingham until I was old enough. I also took a short 3 month introduction to circus course at The Greentop Community Circus Centre in Sheffield. Here I was able to really get stuck in and learn lots of aerial, acro-balance and performance skills. I also learnt to stilt walk. In 1995 I applied and did an audition for Fool Time (it renamed Circomedia by then) and was accepted on their 1 year full time Foundation in Circus Arts and Physical Theatre at Circomedia, Bristol. At the time this was a lot of money so I managed to get a career development loan to pay for it! Here I was able to do some solid training and developed as a performer. In 1996 I started collaborating with a group of performers called Planet Delerium (Fluffy, Flora) and created a show called Slick. This was an environmental show based on the Haverford West Oil spill disaster in 1996. We performed it at a festival in Haverford west, one in London and even toured to Turkey. We had a large aerial rig and stage/music and rehearsed the show at my mums with 5/6 of us. We all had different skills and tricks to weave into a storyline which highlighted the issues surrounding the environmental disaster. I decided to start my own business as a performer when I turned 20 and was lucky to receive funding from The princes youth trust and other grants, this enabled me to purchase equipment, build a website and produce marketing material. I attended a short getting into business course. I then went on to do further training as I wanted some more theatre experience and did a Higher National Diploma in Performing arts/ Physical Theatre in Northbrook college, near Brighton. This was an exciting part of my development as a performer and learnt dance and physical theatre skills which supported my circus work. I has workshops and sessions from companies like DV8, which was very inspiring. Once I had completed this course I wanted to do a degree course and so went on tocomplete a BA Hons in Theatre Practice and Contemporary Circus at The Circus Space & Central School of Speech and Drama. My specialist skill whilst training here was aerial work but I also got a good grounding in equilibristic and manipulation skills, acrobatics, dance, acting and singing. In 2005 did a P.G.C.E. which gave me an opportunity to work with Hereford College of Arts – performing arts department, here I was able to develop and deliver a circus performance module on one of their BTEC courses. I also taught some acting, physical theatre and movement classes and was an assistant director on their end of year productions. I also starting teaching a lot more circus skills at many schools and events across the region. I also performed aerial, stilts and fire acts at a variety of smaller venues and events including The Circus Space, Circomedia, Olympic Torch relay events, Glastonbury & Glade festivals, Grovesnor and Hilton Hotels, Komedia Theatre to name a few. I also had a main character role ‘Copellia’ with Syrcas Circus which toured North Wales and Ireland. I moved back to Bristol in 2009 and since then started working with other performers which has been refreshing and reignited my inspiration for developing performance work. Bristol being a hub for circus performers and with many shows and training opportunities here it seemed the best place to settle! My most memorable and large scale performance contracts to date were for the Paralympic Closing Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in 2019 (where I was a 4 legged crow on stilts with a cast of 12 stilt performers). I also was part of the U.A.E. National 40th Celebrations in the Adu Dhabi Stadium. In these shows I was working mainly as a dancer and a stilt performer (as a camel). I rehearsed and developed the acts alongside directors, choreographers and other performers in the 120 strong cast for 8 weeks leading up to the national events taking place. As a result of all my training courses and variety of work I have become a very versatile and creative physical circus performer and enjoy working with many different companies and performers. Over the years I have worked at a huge variety of events and my knowledge and experience of working in the industry has grown exponentially. I do thrive when working on projects or shows with other artists. My business has developed over the years and is more of an entertainment company/agency now rather than just working as a solo artist and I work a team of highly experienced circus performers on variety of events and festivals. In 2018 I did a Masters in Arts Management at Bath Spa University which has enabled me to expand my knowledge of working in the arts in a more managerial role which is further enhancing my work. During this time I had experience working with Cirque Bijou in Bristol and the Ustinov theatre at the Theatre Royal in Bath, as well as working part time as Bookings Coordinator for Flying Colours Entertainment.
I’ve been a freelance circus performer for 25 years and it been hard to remain inspired and passionate all the time about what I do for a living. You often have days, weeks and even months where you feel flat, unmotivated and uninspired and sometimes want to give it all up! At times during the winter months you can go several months without any work. So, what keeps us circus artists going as we all have bills to pay and need to eat ?. At these times it is important to remain true to your profession and work on things you don’t have time to do like sewing, making costumes or admin/marketing work when you are busy working on gigs in the summer or Christmas seasons. However, out of nowhere you get a random enquiry from a customer who has used you before or there is a request for a particular theme, this is what gets us going again! The creative juices start flowing and you are exciting about making new shows and costumes again. I’ve also found that pays to be versatile and have other options of work during these quiet months. I retrained as a school teacher (PGCE) as well as a yoga teacher which both have supported me. I get inspiration from seeing other peoples work and so I go out and see some circus shows! In the past I have been lucky enough to see many Cirque du Soleil shows. They are a Canadian circus entertainment company from Montreal and produce the largest circus shows in world. These are so awe-inspiring and use high class circus performers woven into an intriguing and elaborate storyline and set with exquisite costumes and make up. Although I enjoy being transported into another world I do sometimes find that the relationship between the performers and audience gets lost on these bigger shows. I personally get inspiration from seeing smaller circus companies such as Circus Oz, Giffords Circus, No Fit State Circus and Circus Ronaldo as theirs shows are more intimate, relatable and tangible. Contemporary Circus has evolved. Companies like De La Guada from Argentina were ground breaking, they blurred the boundaries of circus, theatre and dance and created a show which came to the Roundhouse in Camden 1999. Their show was amazing, it was a unique fusion of circus tricks, acrobatic physical theatre and twisted comedy. They transported spectators into a new reality. This show created by the group of performers was electrifying and otherworldly but it also felt tangible and you were encouraged to be a part of the whole experience. Some audience members were wisked skywards by the aerial dancers on trapezes and other simply drenched in water or pulled into a dance and song. We were left amazed by the extraordinary experience which can be described as abrasive, sensual and trippy, this show certainly broke all perceptions of traditional conventional circus and theatre. This show really inspired me during my time training at The Circus Space. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s I was aware of a group called Archaos from France. They hit the UK by storm and challenged the tradition of circus as we knew it with shows that were noisy, smelly and confrontational. Their shows were created by individuals that were often seen as anarchists and people you would want to avoid in society, let alone pay money to see one of their shows. They certainly changed the traditional circus ideals and their shows were raw edgy and exciting and included explosions, juggling chainsaws and aerial musicians.
The Brief History of Circus
2018 saw the celebration of 250 years of Circus! Circus people all over the world joined in to mark this special year and reflect on how it has evolved throughout history. What is Circus? Circus is know as a group of performers who produce diverse entertainment shows. These shows include clowns, trapeze or aerial acts, acrobats, trained animals (though widely banned now), stilt walkers, fire breathers, jugglers, tightrope walkers, unicyclists, magicians, as well as magicians and other object manipulation and stunt-orientated artists. A man called Philip Astley, a skilled equestrian from 1768 is thought of as the father of modern circus as he began to perform exhibitions of trick horse riding. This was in an open field which was called Ha’Penny Hatch south of the Thames in London. He then developed the exhibitions and hired tightrope walkers, jugglers, acrobats and clowns to fill in in between his equestrian acts and this then became known as the format that is now called “Circus”. For the next 50 years or so large scale battle re-enactments became the dominant entertainment at this time. By the 19th century, the more traditional format of circus’s, where by the ringmaster introduces a variety of acts set to music was developed and still used to this day. The different types of venues that circus takes place in has changed. Early ones were in open air structures, in 18th and 19th century custom made building were constructed with various seating options and a centre ring for a stage. Then in late 19th century Big top were introduced and subsequently touring circus’s emerged.Since the 1970’s circus has had a revival. The term contemporary circus was born, a number of groups began experimenting with different circus formats and as the use of animals became unpopular the opted to produce shows that focused on human artistry. They favoured a more theatrical approach with character driven circus performances using music to convey a complex themes or stories. To this day this format is what drives modern day contemporary circus companies and is continuously being developed with new skills, styles and influences from other performance artforms. A whole variety of venues, festivals and events book individual circus acts for entertainment and large companies produce larger site specific work. Last year saw the celebration of 250 years of circus. Since Philip Astley created a whole new art form in 1768 with the 42 foot ring full of a dazzling display of jugglers, acrobats, strong men, clowns and bareback riders, it has become a worldwide phenomenon and many people are captivated by it. We have cutting edge performance art from the UK’s leading circus companies and beautiful illustrations and collages from Sir Peter Blake. Every child would tell you what circus and they all dream of running away with one! It transports us to a world of wonder full of colourful and surprising twists and turns with a variety of amazing acts and we are let spellbound. 2018 marks the anniversary of 250 years since circus started. All across the UK it was celebrated and museums, theatres, orchestras, schools, library’s filmmakers, designers and circuses. Circus is for everyone, everywhere.