Chapelfield Summer Circus

City celebrates Circus250 with big top in Chapelfield Gardens

Some of the best circus shows from around the world are coming to Norwich this summer to mark 250 years of circus.

Chapelfield Summer Circus big top will be in Chapelfield Gardens from 11 to 15 July.

Norfolk based Lost in Translation Circus have hand picked a selection of international contemporary circus shows, all appearing in Norwich for the first time. All daytime and early evening shows are suitable for family audiences while late night cabaret on Friday and Saturday evenings will be for over 16’s only.

Fauna (Thursday 12 July 8pm) is a multi-award winning show, by the company of the same name, that has thrilled audiences around the world. Five international performers balance, tumble, jump and fly, transforming their bodies into spiders, lemurs, tree frogs and birds of paradise to highlight the similarities between human movement and animal behaviour. Accompanied by live music, this unique presentation was described by London’s Evening Standard as ‘like David Attenborough in tights and leotards – great fun’.

Amazingly, Lost in Translation’s world conquering The Hogwallops has never been performed in the company’s adopted home city. Now the ‘good old fashioned contemporary circus’ troupe bring their loud and funny dramatisation of the domestic adventures of a chaotic family to Norwich for the first time. Blending thrillingly spectacular circus skills, physical comedy and slapstick this is a fantastic family show. Inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Twits, the show includes thrills, gasps, laughs and drama aplenty for both adults and children to enjoy. See it at 7pm on Friday 13 July and 2.30pm Saturday 14 July.

Leading Australian company Casus bring their breakthrough show Knee Deep (Saturday 14 July 7pm) for its Norwich debut. Now in its 7th wildly successful year, Knee Deep sees four performers explore the boundaries of strength and fragility. Bodies are pushed and pulled, eggs are weighed and tested, unlikely bonds are forged and acts of intimacy share space with thrilling physical feats.

Late nights on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July will find circus thrills strictly for adults. Circus Cabaret Lates will feature spectacular line-ups showcasing showmanship, circus, variety, humour and music from renowned and celebrated performers from around the world. The shows will be compered by Abigail Collins who has has guested in late-night cabaret sensation La Clique and performed as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Colombia and Japan.

Over the weekend a programme of daytime outdoor circus fun will include drop-in workshops and circus skills instruction for all ages. The final performance on Sunday 15 July sees Norwich’s Oak Circus Centre present a Community Cabaret. Students alongside circus professionals will demonstrate their skills in thrills, spills, daring trapeze, juggling and more.

Lost in Translation will also be presenting a work in progress version of new touring show Famished. There will be a number of FREE tickets for this show closer to the time.

Chapelfield Summer Circus follows this year’s Lord Mayor’s Celebration, which will open Norwich’s Circus250 extravaganza. Prior to the circus themed Lord Mayor’s Procession on Saturday 7 July, there will be a parade on the evening of Friday 6 July focused on a herd of life size elephant puppets. Accompanied by troupes of acrobats, jugglers and other brightly costumed performers, the Elephant’s Parade will wind from Goal Hill, past The Forum to the magnificent circus big top in Chapelfield Gardens. Here, a thrilling world of side shows, a funfair and live music welcomes the circus to town. The parade will recreate the practice of years gone by when visiting circus companies would parade their animals and performers through the streets to announce their arrival.


Circus250 is the year-long, countrywide celebration that marks the 250th anniversary of the first circus ever. All over the UK and Ireland contemporary and traditional circuses, museums, festivals, churches, theatres and archives will be celebrating the anniversary with performance, exhibitions, concerts and events. Norwich and Great Yarmouth have been jointly selected to be one of the six designated UK ‘Cities of Circus’ that will provide the main focus of the celebrations in Britain.

Helen Selleck, Norwich City Council’s Events and Culture Manager, said: ‘Chapelfield Summer Circus promises to be a real treat for the city, and will keep the feel good factor from our Lord Mayor’s Celebration going for even longer.
We are delighted to have been one of the few cities selected to celebrate Circus250, and very pleased to be working with Lost in Translation on this spectacular event.’

National Circus250 director, Dea Birkett, said: ‘Norwich is perfectly placed to be one of our six Cities of Circus with its long tradition of circus. It’s the birthplace of famous 19th century black circus proprietor Pablo Fanque, PT Barnum paraded his elephants through Norwich and it’s currently home to the internationally renowned Lost in Translation Circus as well as The Oak Circus Centre.

Massimiliano Rossetti Co-Director of Lost in Translation Circus and The Oak Circus Centre said ‘We are all so pleased that Norwich has been chosen as one of the UK Cities of Circus for 2018. We are looking forward to staging brilliant events that will really put the city on the international circus map. From our Norwich base we have travelled the world to perform and now we’re bringing the circus world to the city.’

 Norwich CIRCUS250

CIrcus250 is a year-long nationwide celebration of 250 years of circus. In 1768 showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle on an abandoned patch of land near London’s Waterloo and filled it with astounding physical acts. This spectacle was the world’s very first circus.

Tickets for Chapelfield Summer Circus events are available from Norwich Arts Centre, 01603 660 352

Chapelfield Summer Circus Listings info:

Wednesday 11 – Sunday 15 July

Chapelfield Summer Circus
Celebrating Circus250 Lost in Translation Circus present a Big Top style tent with a hand-picked selection of international contemporary circus shows, all appearing in Norwich for the first time. Daytime and early evening shows are suitable for family audiences with late night cabaret for adults on Friday and Saturday evenings. Licensed bar available.

Thursday 12 July
8pm Fauna (60 mins)
Adult £12, Concession/child £7.50

Friday 13 July
7pm The HogwallopsLost in Translation Circus (60 mins)
Adult £12, Concession/child £7.50

10pm Circus Cabaret Lates (90 mins incl 20 mins interval)
Adult £12, Concession £7.50

Saturday 14 July
11am – 2pm: Outdoor Circus Fun with drop-in workshops and circus skills instruction for all ages. Free

2.30pm: The HogwallopsLost in Translation Circus (60 mins)
Adult £12, Concession/child £7.50

7pm: Knee Deep – Casus (60 mins)
Adult £12, Concession/child £7.50

10.00pm: Circus Cabaret Lates (90mins incl 20 mins interval)
Adult £12, Concession £7.50

Sunday 15 July
11am – 2.30pm: Outdoor Circus Fun with drop-in workshops and circus skills instruction for all ages. Free

3pm: The Oak Circus Community Cabaret (90 mins incl 20mins interval)
Adult £5, Concession/child £3

Advance tickets available online, by phone and in person from Norwich Arts Centre,  01603 660 352, St Benedicts Street Norwich NR2 4PG All prices include an admin fee.

This event has been made possible with funding from Norwich City Council, Arts Council England, Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, Geoffrey Watling Charity, Anguish’s Educational Foundation Trust, John Jarrold Trust, Goodman Trust, Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, Snelling Charitable Trust, Charles Littlewood Hill Trust and The Ranworth Trust.

All over the UK and Ireland there will be contemporary and traditional circuses, performances, exhibitions, concerts and events. The main focus will fall on six designated ‘Cities of Circus’ with their long and proud history of ‘the greatest show on earth’. Norwich (together with Great Yarmouth) is one of the six alongside Bristol, Blackpool, Newcastle-under-Lyme, London and Belfast.