Circus 1903 comes to the Southbank Centre following a tour to Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry, Salford and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin. The show includes sensational life-sized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse, putting elephants back in the ring as never before, and boasts a huge cast of jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all corners of the globe, featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high-wire performers and more, this show captivates and transports audiences of all ages to the golden age of circus.

The new acts joining the Circus 1903 family adventure include a daring duo aerial act ‘The Flying Fredonis’ performed by Russian artists Dasha Shelest and Vadym Pankevych, Cuban hand balancer ‘The Great Rokardy’ (Rokardy Rodriguez) and the furious flexible feats of Russian Rolling Ball Hula Hoopist ‘Mademoiselle Natalia’ (Natalia Leontieva).

The Southbank Centre will also host The Wheel of Death, a ginormous rotating apparatus featuring large metal hoops at each end in and on which performers Carlos Mayorga Macias, Jerson Alexander Valencia Garcia and Ray Freddy Valencia Bocanegra will carry out eye-popping acrobatic skills whilst the wheel is rotating.

Transporting audiences back to the wonders of the Golden Age of Circus, new acts will join the previous and much-loved mind-bending juggler, ‘The Great Gaston’ (François Borie), the legendary balancing act Rola Bola by ‘The Sensational Sozonov’ (Russian Mikhail Sozonov and Ukrainian Ievgeniia Fetkulova), unrivalled Ethiopian contortionist, ‘The Elastic Dislocationist’ (Senayet Asefa Amare) and the stomach churning heights of ‘The Daring Desafios’ (trio of Brazilian teeterboard daredevils João Guilherme de Lima Siqueira, Luan de Souza Vieira and Leonardo Louzada de Freitas). Dizzying Mongolian duo Ganbayar Munkhbat and Andryei Batbold will bring their Icarian Games act and the Russian Cradle will feature breathtaking performances from ‘Les Incredibles’ (Ivan Fomichev and Maria Boldyreva).

A crack team of UK-based puppeteers will work with much-loved Queenie and Peanut, the Circus 1903 elephants, including Mikey Brett (Peanut), Nyron Levy, Chris Milford, James Donovan (Queenie), Amelie Leroy (Elephant Trainer) and Will Palmer (swing).

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX from 19 December – 5 January 2020. Times: Varying – See website. Admission: £29.50 – £125.

www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

Photos: Dan Tsantilis