Circus Sampler Photo: Ash

Circus Sampler

28 – 29 Jul
& 04 – 05 Aug 2018
Daily 12.00-17.00
The Edmond J. Safra
Fountain Court

Celebrating 250 years since Philip and Patty Astley pioneered circus in London in 1768, Somerset House and Somerset House-based creative producers Crying Out Loud present two summer weekends of distinctive contemporary circus, hip hop dance and music.

Trailblazers Gandini Juggling premiere a special commission, Cascade, over the second weekend accompanied by the rousing sound of brass music played live by Circus Tsuica, a French band of musical acrobats. Performing within the rhythmic rise and fall of the 55 water jets of the courtyard fountains, the 30 jugglers will perform within the constant flow of movement, water and sound to create a mesmerising celebration of skill, beauty and music.

04-05 August
Gandini Juggling and Circa Tsuïca Cascade  (approx. 35 mins)
Daily at 12.00, 14.00, 16.00

Complementing the action in the courtyard, the East Wing hosts talks and an exhibition that includes a compelling new installation from artist Rose English. Learn about the history of circus, watch short films, and uncover a selection of the pioneers and new thinkers who have transformed the circus field today.


On the first weekend Far From The Norm staged a new show that combines their signature fast-paced footwork and physical floor-work with Chinese Pole and tight-wire. Union Black is a bold fusion of hip hop dance and circus that draws parallels between the worlds of football and current European politics.  

Between shows visitors enjoyed hoola hoop acrobat and twelve times Guinness World Record holder Marawa the Amazing and the Majorettes as they performed their special brand of synchronised hoola hooping and roller skating.

Circus Sampler trailer

A range of food and drink will be available on-site.

These events are presented in the open air, so come prepared. There is no fixed seating in the courtyard. Please note that performances may be delayed or cancelled if weather conditions are likely to affect the safety of the artists performing. We will notify audiences through our website and social media of any changes to performance schedules.

Supported by
The Garrick Charitable Trust