Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town!
Trapezes are swinging across Sussex this summer with a great line up of circus fun. Worthing and Crawley have circus festivals going on with a chance for both kids and adults to try things for themselves, while Hastings’ revamped pier will be hosting a big top over the sea (now where do they hammer in the tent pegs?) and clowns and acrobats will also be popping up in Hove.
Summer of Circus, Worthing, 28 – 31 July, 15 Aug & 27 Aug – 4 Sept
Inventive contemporary circus show Flown from Pirates of the Carabina is on this 28-31 July with a show-goes-wrong theme and ariel acrobatics with everything from a drum kit to an ironing board. It’s at the Pavilion Theatre on the seafront, with tickets from £17.50. I’m seeing the opening night, so look out for my review I’ll be posting this Friday.
There’s a children’s ‘Circus Bootcamp‘ with experts Circusseen at the Pavilion Theatre on 15 Aug with the chance to learn to juggle scarves, ride a unicycle, walk on stilts or the tight wire and more. It’s a drop off (a bargain at £27.50) from 10.00 – 4.00pm with at 3.30pm, the Ring Master presenting the children in their very own show for parents and carers. It’s aimed at 4 to 13-year-olds and suitable for those with special needs so long as a carer is present. There are 50 spaces per workshop.
Come 27 Aug it’ll be your turn – yes really – the UK’s only outdoor flying trapeze school, Gorilla Circus will be setting up its rig and safety nets on Lancing Green with lessons for the over 8s with a head for heights running daily till 4 Sept. The oldest student to date has been 78, so no there’s no excuses but if you can’t stomach it you can watch the masters at work every evening. Classes cost £30 and last 105 minutes/ They take place at 10.00am and 2.00pm and on some days also 4.00pm. The shows run on selected days at 8.00pm (or 5.00pm on 4 Sept) and they’re free to watch.
Crawley Circus Festival at The Hawth, 19 – 21 Aug
Crawley is having its own circus festival later in August. From Fri 19 to Sun 21 Aug The Hawth grounds and foyer will be hosting a weekend of workshops, shows and games to enthrall all from the enthusiast to absolute beginner.
This year’s theme is ‘Post Apocalyptic’ and visitors are invited to get all Mad Max with fancy dress. The highlight will be wild and wacky show Kettle of Fish, which features comedy, juggling and card trickery and contortions.
You can come for the day, or the whole weekend. There’s also free entry for children under six, accompanying weekend ticket holders.
Weekend tickets cost £32 (Children £18), which covers camping and all workshops and shows including Kettle of Fish. Earlybird tickets purchased before 1 Aug are £27 (children £15). Day tickets cost £12 (discounts £7). Standalone Kettle of Fish tickets for 20 Aug are £16 (concessions £12)
Zippos’ Summer Festival Circus Hastings & Hove/circus show and workshops, Hastings
More of a traditional Big Top circus this – but what a location! Famous troupe Zippos will be putting on the greasepaint and climbing those scarily high ladders in a tent on Hastings Pier itself between 5 and 29 Aug. They promise 50 minutes of non-stop action from trapeze artistes, jugglers, clowns, acrobats and dancers. Tickets cost from £8.95. There’s also a Zippos circus on Hove Lawns for 24 Aug – 5 Sept.
On 27 Aug, The Stade in Hastings is meanwhile hosting eccentric circus troupe Le Cirque Du Platzak in Kermitz, a quirky free show, backed by rousing folk music, with acrobatics, balancing feats, juggling and more. The performances are at 1pm and 6pm and you can have a go yourself in workshops in basic circus skills at 11am.