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Hattie Lloyd 13/11/19

The Travelling Circus

The Travelling Circus

We’ve managed to pin down a travelling circus.

It’s going to be staying put for the near future at Elephant & Castle’s sprawling street food marketplace, Mercato Metropolitano, which is putting on a very different kind of festive shindig this year. It’s all being curated by Josie and Rob da Bank, the co-founders of Bestival, who are going to essentially stage a fully-fledged festival inside the market every weekend from now until the end of January.

Circus Raj Mercato Metropolitano

The performers with top billing are Circus Raj, a super-troupe of talented artists from the legendary street-circuses of Rajasthan. They’ve performed around the globe (and even in Tim Burton’s remake of Dumbo), and specialise in jaw-dropping feats of courage, stamina and skill. Amongst their number are contortionists, aerialists, slack-line walkers, acrobats, dancers, and sword-swallowers.

They’ll be joined by a stellar line-up of acts from the UK and across the globe, including Spanish punk flamenco dancers; a cross-dressing Russian ballerina; and Prince’s doppelgänger; all performing together for ticketed events on Friday and Saturday nights, and spilling out into the open-air marketplace for spontaneous free performances over the weekend. And once the curtain falls, there’ll be late-night DJ sets of gypsy jazz and electro-swing.

Travelling Circus Mercato Metropolitano

Of course, as an added bonus, the fact that it’s all taking place inside Mercato Metropolitano means that you have the run of their 40+ international street food vendors too, from Argentinian steak to Japanese donburi. Dotted around the performance space will be cocktail bars in the guise of old carnival stalls, or you can pre-order drinks to be brought directly to your own seating area in an old waltzer booth or circus caravan.

They’ll all be orbiting the specially created stage; a vintage, life-size carousel, where the performers will be putting on their vibrant spectacles.

Especially the sword-thrower. He really needs those.


NOTE: The Travelling Circus has now taken place.

The Travelling Circus | Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

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The Travelling Circus

Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR