World-renowned production company Underbelly is preparing to conquer the Edinburgh Fringe Festival once again this year as they gear up to return to Circus Hub on the Meadows, with 11 incredible shows spanning circus, cabaret, comedy, variety and more. Covering two alluring venues—The Lafayette Big Top and The Beauty Spiegeltent—as well as an outdoor bar, Underbelly’s Circus Hub is unrivalled, there really is no place like it; it is the true home of Circus at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Audiences can escape the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile with this incredible raft of shows that promise to delight, inspire and entertain Fringe-goers all day and night. There is something for everyone on this incredible programme of Circus Hub shows. Showcasing the most awe-inspiring acts from the UK and across the globe, Underbelly’s Circus Hub plays host to an incredibly diverse line-up with performers hailing from the UK, USA, Canada, Belgium, Australia and Ethiopia. See below for more info on each:
- World-class company The 7 Fingers is returning to the Edinburgh Fringe to take the world premiere of “The 7 Fingers: Duel Reality”– a must-see for fans of Romeo and Juliet and star-crossed lovers and wondrous acrobatics.
- Let yourself be seduced by Circa’s Peepshow (Club Remix), a visionary remix of cheeky cabaret, live music and thrilling acrobatics.
- Olivier Award-winning cabaret spectacular “La Clique” returns home to the Fringe with new performers and unmissable favourites.
- Come and join the revelry of The Revel Puck Circus’ brand-new show “The Wing Scuffle Spectacular,” and reimagine what circus could be!
- Brave Space is back with an intimate, all-female-led cast of bold physical artists congregating in the tiniest of tents to encompass a wondrous world of circus.
- Brought direct from Chicago, the creators of Brave Space, Aloft, presents “Sanctuary,” a punk-rock underground circus cabaret open to all.
- You’re all invited to “Sophie’s Surprise 29th,” an interactive circus & cabaret show stumbling into Circus Hub with its Fringe debut, featuring world-class performers.
- Circus Abyssinia’s mesmerising show “TULU,” inspired by real-life Ethiopian superwoman Derartu Tulu’s Olympic gold, returns to inspire audiences.
- Fun for the whole family with Trash Test Dummies’ award-winning, side-splitting, slapstick comedy-circus routine
- Join Lucky Pigeons on a journey to a magical, surreal space created through incredible contemporary circus.
- For the first time, Théâtre d’Un Jour presents their act of resistance: “Reclaim,” a collective experience which aims to bring what we need most in the world to Edinburgh: Humanity.
Created in 2015, the Underbelly Circus Hub was the first ever major space dedicated to circus at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The venues’ names— Lafayette (a 550-seat big top) and Beauty (a 500-seat Spiegeltent)—have a deeper history and pay homage to Edinburgh’s great tradition of circus performance, named in honour of two of history’s greatest circus performers and illusionists: The Great Lafayette and his beloved performing dog Beauty. These remarkable venues celebrate the legacy of circus performance in Edinburgh, whilst providing state-of-the-art spaces to host spectacular and technically ambitious circus work of a level that has never been seen before at the Fringe, right in the beating heart of the city.
Underbelly’s Head of Programming Marina Dixon said, “Circus Hub on the Meadows has become the home of the world’s most exciting Circus at the Fringe, presenting first-class circus performers from all around the world. This year we welcome shows from Australia, Ethiopia, the UK, Canada, Belgium and the USA.
“Featuring a mix of Fringe favourites returning home alongside some thrilling debuts, the programme features a huge variety of circus acts as well as music, cabaret and shows for children! From families to late-night fringe revellers, there truly is something for everyone. Join us at Circus Hub this August and prepare to be amazed!”
For tickets and more information, go to the Underbelly website.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS (ALPHABETICALLY)
ALOFT PRESENTS SANCTUARY
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 5:15 pm (60mins)
Dates: 5-13, 15-20, and 22-26 August (£15.00)
Genre: Circus, Cabaret (ages 12+)
A punk-rock underground circus cabaret open to all. Always changing and always amazing, Sanctuary Cabaret sees a revolving line-up of internationally renowned circus performers joining together to showcase their most personal and prized acts in a gorgeous environment. Brought directly from Chicago by Aloft, the creators of the stunning 2022 Fringe hit “Brave Space,” this is cabaret excellence everyone can enjoy.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 11:00 am (60mins)
Dates: 5-13, 15-20, and 22-26 August (£14.50)
Genre: Circus, Immersive, all ages
“Brave Space” is the building of a blanket fort, sneaking under a hoop skirt: an impulsive congregation in the tiniest of tents. Starting as a puddle of fabric on the floor, it grows to encompass a wondrous world of circus. Intimate and low-tech, the audience sits nose-to-nose with an all-female cast of bold physical artists to build the world we want to live in, even if only for a few shared moments. “‘Brave Space’ imagines a kind of dystopian utopia, in which peril is made present but survivable, even beautiful. Its living, beating heart remains constant” (Chicago Tribune).
CIRCA’S PEEPSHOW (CLUB REMIX)
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 6:20 pm (60mins)
Dates: 4-8, 10-13, 15-20, and 22-26 August (£15.50)
Genre: Cabaret, Circus, Music (12+)
Circa’s smash-hit Peepshow has astonished audiences worldwide. On this seductive circus thrill ride, flashes of cheeky cabaret, grinding nightclub, and raw humanity explode into view before disappearing into darkness.
Now the team from Circa has created Peepshow (Club Remix). Joined by a live DJ and featuring some of the best acrobatic talent on the planet under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, this remix is outrageously skilled, delightfully funny, and razor-sharp. This is one hot hour of big beats, playful acts, and thrilling acrobatics.
CIRCUS ABYSSINIA: TULU
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 2:05 pm (60mins)
Dates: 5th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£16)
Genre: Circus, International, all ages
Returning after a dazzling Circus Hub season in 2022, “Tulu” celebrates the true tale of an Ethiopian icon, Derartu Tulu, the first African woman to win Olympic gold. This unmissable showcase of superhuman strength blends breathtaking contortion, awe-inspiring acrobatics, and mesmerising fire-juggling with a rocking, exuberant soundtrack. Circus Abyssinia has toured all around the world, including a sold-out run in New York, and has been featured on the Royal Variety Performance. They are thrilled to return with this display of speed, skill and flight fit for the whole family.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 7:20 pm (70mins)
Dates: 4th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£19)
Genre: Cabaret & Variety, Comedy, Circus (16+)
After a sold-out run in 2022, the multi-award-winning cabaret spectacular “La Clique” returns, featuring the best of circus, comedy and cabaret. Born at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004 and subsequently gaining international acclaim touring the globe, this is the original and trailblazing Spiegeltent cabaret show, bringing you a magnificent new collection of extraordinary new artists and unmissable favourites. This Olivier Award-winning international sensation promises to be a night of laughs, gasps and can’t-believe-your-eyes moments from the best acts around the world.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 1:05 pm (60mins)
Dates: 5th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£14.50)
Genre: Circus, Comedy, Acrobatics (3+)
A treat for the whole family, Brainfools’ Fringe debut defies gravity to conjure a surreal world where a flock of energetic, curious pigeons dwell. Boldly tumbling and gracefully leaping through the air, these mischievous creatures are eager to invite everyone to join in on their fun. With a dynamic display of acrobatics and juggling skills, this tale of one lonely person’s journey to friendship and connection is heart-warming for all ages. From an exciting new company that explores social issues through the thrills and spills of live performance, this colourful and uplifting show is not to be missed.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 3:10 pm (60mins)
Dates: 6th–9th, 11th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£14.50)
Genre: Circus, Live Music (12+)
“RECLAIM” is not a show, but a collective experience inspired by the Ko’ch ritual as an act of resistance. An opera singer, two cellists, five circus performers and the spectators will share that ritual in a disturbing closeness. After years of distancing from each other, this powerful collective experience allows us to recover and reclaim what our world needs urgently – humanity. Presented by acclaimed and innovative Belgian company T1J, this is circus which pushes your expectations to the limit.
THE 7 FINGERS: DUEL REALITY
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 8:30 pm (60mins)
Dates: 4th-8th, 10th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£18)
Genre: Circus, Acrobatics, Theatre (8+)
This is circus on a whole new theatrical level. The World Premiere of “Duel Reality” bursts into Circus Hub from The 7 Fingers, the company that created the hit show “Passagers” (praised as “wondrous acrobatics from Cirque du Soleil spinoff” by The Guardian). Star-crossed lovers. Two opposing teams. The stage is an arena. Competition can be playful at times, but also dangerously serious. Which side will you choose?
THE REVEL PUCK CIRCUS: THE WING SCUFFLE SPECTACULAR
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 4:10 pm (60mins)
Dates: 5th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£15.50)
Genre: Circus, all ages
Balancing atop a giant wheel, courageously diving from 15ft in the air, and somersaulting out of the path of a swinging chainsaw, join The Revel Puck Circus for their exhilarating Edinburgh Fringe debut this August. Bringing a heartfelt, hilarious and dangerous edge, the brightest young talent of the East London circus scene showcase incredible acrobatics, ridiculous physical comedy and the dizzying heights of the UK’s only teeterboard trio. Jam-packed with riotous and mind-blowing moments, this alternative homegrown circus company is a must-see for thrill-seekers young and old.
SOPHIE’S SURPRISE 29th
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 9:45 pm (60mins)
Dates: Aug 4th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£16.50)
Genre: Interactive, Circus, Cabaret (16+)
Sophie is turning 29, and we’re celebrating!
Imagine if Take That never broke up, Cirque du Soleil had sunstroke, and No. 10 had actually known how to throw a party. This interactive circus & cabaret show is stumbling into Circus Hub with its Fringe debut, featuring world-class performers from Cirque du Soleil, Britain’s Got Talent, Gogglebox, and more. Expect Twilight fan fiction, unicycling drug dealers, and death-defying feats.
TRASH TEST DUMMIES
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 12:05 pm (60mins)
Dates: 5th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th August (£12.50)
Genre: Comedy, Circus, all ages
Everyone put your rubbish out; tonight’s bin night and the Trash Test Dummies are on duty! This award-winning, sidesplitting, slapstick comedy-circus routine takes the household wheelie bin to new heights and delivers a dump truck full of hilarity! Winners of the best Children’s presentation at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016 and 2015, and runners-up for the Edinburgh Fringe Children’s Choice Award 2016, the Trash Test Dummies are as full of laughs as their bins are full of surprises.
Main Image: Circus Abyssinia "Tulu"
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