Circus250: Diverse, Real, Physical

Crying Out Loud

Cooperation Projects



Total project grant (euros)



Creative Europe



Call number

EACEA 45/2016

Project date

1 Oct 2017 - 31 Dec 2018

Number of partners in project


Lead organisation

Crying Out Loud, UK


Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde Association, France

A Sense of Cork Mid-Summer Arts Festival Company, Ireland

Upplev Botkyrka AB, Sweden

Far From the Norm, UK

Circus250: Diverse, Real, Physical brings together a four-country partnership to address the need for high quality ethnically diverse performances that can appeal to popular audiences. The partners are highly experienced and widely recognised for supporting emerging artists, initiating work that integrates artforms, and developing local as well as sector specific audiences. They see this as an opportunity to effect change by:

  • Enabling talented hip hop theatre artists and highly skilled circus artists to work together through a year-long series of workshops, residencies and performances and create something different.
  • Upskilling local, early career, circus and hip hop artists as they work with the experienced artists in order to enhance their creative and professional careers.
  • Presenting performances that use the lens of football to explore the physicality of the body and sport, and highlight racial and socio-political issues, challenges that face a multi-cultural Europe. The performances will vary at each location; local skills and responses to the themes will be integrated into the show.
  • Testing UK methodologies for audience development with a focus on those that are not frequent attenders in circus outside of the UK.
  • Leaving a lasting impact on the emerging area of hip hop and circus cross over work.

2018 is the 250th anniversary of Philip Astley’s first modern Circus ring in London. Astley’s circuses travelled widely and he included many different disciplines and styles of performance in his shows. His shows were a place for audiences to meet forces that were shaping the world around them. This global, social relevance, married to total accessibility, drove the form deep into our cultural consciousness.  Circus250 plans to use this anniversary to profile contemporary innovation in European circus with the same values and draw parallels between the way circus has integrated other artforms, then and now.

Image by Jason Torres

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