With Britain being the home of Circus, the variety of acts available to see can be overwhelming. From traditional animal acts through modern contemporary acts and shows that combine the two, there is something for everyone no matter what you are looking for. Being the home of the circus, the UK is also home to some of the best pieces of this rich history should you find yourself fascinated and intrigued.

Underbelly Festival

With 10 years under its belt on the Southbank, the Underbelly showcases everything from street food to cabaret and light entertainment, as well as some spectacular circus acts. These performances showcase all the best form of circus, from the traditional to the dramatic, some aim to tell a story and some are there purely to entertain audiences.


Held every second year, Circusfest is an international festival that focuses on and celebrates contemporary arts – as long as your performance is dynamic, poetic and diverse, with a strong social awareness. The show includes 2 film projects, 15 shows and performers from around the world. This festival takes traditional circus and reinvents it in many new and wonderful ways.


If you are looking to research a bit more into the circus and the entertainment industry from its beginning then the National Fairground and Circus Archive is the place to go. It houses the history from the inception of popular forms of entertainments, and you will find collections and examples of many genres from early film and magic through to circus and amusement parks. It also has collections that focus on the surrounding aspects of travelling entertainment such as transport and dwelling and family business records. Also showcased are histories on performers and ringmasters, menageries and seaside entertainments and amusement parks. Definitely, a must see if you are interested in the beautiful history of the circus.