What’s that one place with a hell of a lot of entertainment, a load of acts to keep you hooked till the end and some death-defying stunts? Need another hint? The most easily recognisable circular tent that houses fun and entertainment has been a crowd puller for centuries: a circus! Whether you’re drawn to magicians and dancers, you like the adventurous streak of the ring of fire, tightrope walkers, or fearless gymnasts, a circus offers something special for pretty much everyone. Here’s a rundown of the best places to watch the circus in London:
1. Cirque Berserk
The critically-acclaimed Cirque Berserk is probably the most famous and the biggest Circus in London, and this is the place to come if you’re looking for epic stunts in a theatre-style venue. During each performance, the team puts together around 35 breath-taking acts like the ‘Globe of Death’ with a motorcycle live on stage, and the fire-spitting ‘Giant Robot’.
Their performers hail from Timbuktu, Brazil, Spain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Mongolia, and are aerial acrobatic artists, jugglers, brave stuntmen, and outstanding dancers too. They’ve also got clowns to keep you entertained throughout the hour-and-forty-five-minute show too.
You can find out more about Cirque Berserk here.
2. Zippos Circus
Two hours of unadulterated fun is what you can expect at Zippos Circus, one of the most well-liked circuses in London. Their series of acts pull crowds from all over the city – and the rest of the country too. The incredible line-up includes the legendary motorbike ‘Globe of Death’ from the Brazilian Lucius Team, fast juggling and whip cracking from Toni who hails from Czechia, contortion from Mongolia, aerial displays from the Irish Garcia Duo and much, much more.
Overall, Zippos has got something for all ages, and you can buy tickets in advance or right on the door. Their specially-curated birthday packages include reserved seating, popcorn and bottled water, a souvenir programme, and the ringmaster does a special shoutout during the show.
You can find out more about Zippos Circus here.
3. Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil is an unmissable circus in London, known for its themed processions on stage. They bring you a world of creativity and imagination with their shows like Corteo – an imaginary world of a clown – and Luzia – a creative parade hailing all the way from Mexico.
In 2022, Cirque du Soleil completed 25 years of spreading magic worldwide to over 3.5 million viewers. The Royal Albert Hall in the British Capital has been their home for over two decades. Their contortionists, jugglers, and aerial acrobats are known for globally-acclaimed performances, and the costumes and set-design just adds to the spectacle.
They’re among the oldest and most successful circus shows in London – and for the world that matter too – so they’re well worth a visit.
You can find out more about Cirque du Soleil here.
4. La Clique
Running for over 15 years now, La Clique is known for hosting theatrical shows that combine circus, modern burlesque, cabaret and vaudeville together. So if you’re looking for more than just aerial stunts, clowns or magic tricks, La Clique will not disappoint.
Their dancers, musicians, and international artists put up a fantastic show that lasts around two hours with a break. While you cannot take kids under 16, you can undoubtedly plan an exciting evening with a date. So grab some wine and get ready to have a night you won’t forget.
Known as the original Underbelly’s ‘Spiegeltent’, La Clique was one of the most famous cabarets in the city. Over the years, they won many awards for their circus, comedy acts and music presentations. Aerialists hanging by their hair from the ceiling, a talented orchestra will be accompanying the show and water artists perform their magic in an iron-cast bathtub. Sounds pretty good to us!
You can find out more about La Clique here.
5. Circus Abyssinia
A circus created solely by Ethiopian performers, Circus Abyssinia arrived in the capital with a real bang back in 2017 with their first show, ‘Ethiopian Dreams’. The show garnered much acclaim from critics and audiences alike, which pulled them back again with a new show, Tulu, which celebrated the Ethiopian long-distance runner Derartu Tulu. Their performances highlight speed, acrobatics, never-seen-before contortions, and some marvellous fire-juggling – accompanied by some excellent tunes of course.
You can find out more about Circus Abyssinia here.
6. Circus 1903
Watch out for more circus shows from the award-winning team who brought the celebrated plays ‘War Horse’ and ‘The Grinning Man’ to London. Circus 1903 is famous for pushing you down memory lane, with vintage decor dotted throughout and acts inspired by traditional circuses of years gone by.
Previous audiences have loved the adventure theme of all their acts – from the trapeze performers and contortionists to high-wire experts – but the major highlight remains the giant life-size elephant puppets used throughout.
You’ll can find out more about Circus 1903 here.
7. Circus Vegas
A circus that teleports you to the glamorous world of Las Vegas, the enthralling Circus Vegas whips up a concoction of glitz, adventure and stunts that will no doubt leave you short of breath. Hailing all the way from Vegas, the show delivers acrobats in spades, traditional clown tricks by celebrated entertainer ‘Edy the Clown’, and brilliant performances by internationally-acclaimed artists.
Their lineup includes acts by artists like Danguir Troupe on the high-wire and ‘Wheel of Death’, and their exceptional team of riders defy the laws of gravity in a mesh sphere in the adrenaline-fuelled ‘Globe of Death’.
You can find out more about the Circus Vegas here.
As you can see from this roundup, a circus in London is really unlike any other show. This centuries-old source of amusement has survived even the internet era, so make sure you check out some of the capital’s best.