Circus News

Can Cirque du Soleil Bounce Back on Shaky Ground?

There have been a series of seismic announcements in the circus world in the past weeks in response to the coronavirus, with circus performers and companies immediately losing their contracts for the coming months and the instant closure of performance venues and circus festivals around the world. But no shock has been quite so large as the devastating news on March 19th (just seven days after announcing its temporary halt of all touring shows) that Cirque du Soleil, a company with over 4,600 employees, would be laying off 95% of its staff worldwide temporarily.

The alarm bells quickly rang again, followed by the information from Reuters that Cirque Du Soleil was considering bankruptcy (March 26th). This was quickly followed up with rumblings about the restructuring of debt, and Cirque du Soleil, normally such a private company about its internal affairs, was suddenly the topic in more than a few financial publications, all eager to make sense of how such a behemoth corporation, with 35 years under its belt and 50 original shows in its repertoire suddenly could be brought to its knees after a few weeks of poor ticket sales, followed by a projected month or two of no ticket sales. Although Daniel Lamarre has consistently struck an optimistic tone throughout the unfolding of all events, the changes certainly shook the confidence of smaller circus outfits around the world who...

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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell is the editor of CircusTalk News. They have written about circus for Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and were a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association. In 2019 as editor for CircusTalk News, Kim was on the jury at el Festival Iberoamericano de Circo (FIRCO) and presented the first CircusTalk Critic's Choice Award.

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