Tickets to a Renaissance Circus

The title of this post is a slight misnomer, designed to inveigle the attention of the early modernists I know. Like a deep-sea anglerfish, using the bioluminescence of the  renaissance to ensnare the unsuspecting.  Tickets appeared in my letterbox this morning for an evening of renaissance (music) and (contemporary) circus performers, which is only slightly less enticing than Richard Burbage jumping through hoops of fire on an elephant.

There is something magical and illicit about the circus. It allows you to step into another, fantastical world, designed purely for pleasure and entertainment, that you suspect is neither entirely real nor entirely safe. Both suspicions heighten its power to enthral. I’ve been searching for old black and white photos of circus performers for years, trawling through ephemera fairs and the internet, but these images seem to be highly sought after  and  largely held in private collections.

I did receive these, ostensibly innocuous items this morning, however, and am VERY excited.



I’m going to see acrobats, in a church, at night. Enough said, surely.

I will of course be blogging about this in three months (this feels like a long time to wait. Too long, almost) but there are actually still tickets available, so why not experience it for yourselves if you’re in London this summer. I’ve pasted below what the website says about it, which I suspect fails to really capture the potential  for brilliance this performance has.

“Six acrobats ascend, contort and tumble in an ethereal display of physical daring, accompanied by a live performance of sacred song. Sublime music soars as bodies are pushed to their limits amid the architectural grandeur of a historic London church. 

Circa’s exhilarating brand of contemporary circus meets the exquisite sound of I Fagiolini in a show designed to celebrate the atmosphere of St Bartholomew the Great. Navigate its spaces to follow awe-inspiring feats of strength and movement lifted by the harmonies of choral repertoire drawn from the 11th to 20th centuries.

How Like An Angel is the first collaboration between UK-based vocal ensemble I Fagiolini and Australian company Circa.

‘Graceful mixture of ephemeral angels and earthly acrobatics’ – Daily Telegraph”

I’ve heard I Fagiolini before, at the Spitalfields Church Winter Festival, but has anyone else seen or heard of Circa?



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