Contemporary circus has more history than you might think as our Circus Timeline reveals.
Taking its starting point in the community and social circus movements of the late 60s and early 70s, the Circus Timeline marks a selection of the pivotal companies and events from six decades of UK contemporary circus.
In the long view, we see circus’ reliable ability to work itself through the cracks of mainstream culture: it appears in Covent Garden after the fruit market closes and before the developers move in, tuns the corridors and halls of an abandoned Victorian fire and police station, springs up in timber yards and warehouses and among the shadowed vaults under London Bridge.
It restless spirit allies itself with the subversive counter culture of the new variety and alternative comedy circuits, takes on the voice of the poet and anarchist, and picks up speed as it moves towards its modern incarnation: modern hybrid art form, spread across borders, half in the public eye and half out of it, sensible of its history yet ready, always, to reinvent itself.
View the Circus Timeline.