Alternative Comedy, New Variety

As alternative comedy spreads through Thatcherite Britain, a new variety circuit begins to form. Circus artists and street performers play alongside comedians and entertainers in small venues and clubs like Jongleurs and The Comedy store. Roland Muldoon and  Claire Burnley form the CAST New Variety agency to circulate circus and street acts, and later restore and run The Hackney Empire, a dilapidated 1900s music hall. Lumiere & Son Theatre Company create Circus Lumiere (pictured), an exacting parody of traditional circus acts that sees a strongman, with much drama, consume a brillo pad (among other marvels).