SHOWZAM! - Grand’s little big top

New and traditional skills team up for Circus Shorts at the Grand Theatre. Below: Doug Francisco.
New and traditional skills team up for Circus Shorts at the Grand Theatre. Below: Doug Francisco.
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The Big Top shrinks into Circus Shorts for two nights at Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Showcasing the best in contemporary circus, Circus Shorts is at The Grand for the Showzam! festival combining traditional circus skills and theatrical techniques – with a different show on each night.

Doug Francisco - Circius Shorts

Doug Francisco - Circius Shorts

It stars Mattress Circus, a collaborative, physical performance illustrating the journey of three clown acrobats falling, fighting and laughing.

Set behind and around a mattress the three clowns (Daniel Gonçalves, Tiago Fonseca and Nikolaj Munk) use their physical differences to create a world filled with comedy and surreal illusion.

So & So Circus will be presenting The Hot Dots.

Frank Johnstone and Evie Steele met in 1928 and this is the story of two hugely successful vaudeville performers and their spectacular fall from grace. Using acrobatic balancing, physical theatre and film So & So Circus tell their story, set against the backdrop of 1930s Music Hall.

Kaveh Rahnama and Lauren Hendry set up So & So Circus Theatre in 2005 and in 2007 they won the Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award for Circus Arts.

Kaveh started out as a juggler with Albert & Friends Instant Circus in 1995. Lauren trained and competed for Inverness Gymnastics Club in both national and international competitions until 2004.

They developed The Hot Dots in 2008 with director Abigail Dooley at Sadlers Wells. In 2009 they continued working on the piece with a new director, Kristine Landon-Smith and spent the year touring it around the UK.


Circus Shorts will be compered by Doug Francisco, ringmaster and founder of the talented Invisible Circus. Active in the alternative arts scene he opened the Exposure Gallery in west London’s Portobello market in 1992 in an old shoe shop and went on to secure Bridge House, a large unused site in between the Westway Motorway and the Metropolitan tube line which would become the first Artspace Lifespace project.

The Circus troupe formed as a mobile project in 1993 and travelled Europe and the world for a decade as a street performers. They then created their first stage production The Renegade Fabulon in 2002 for Glastonbury Festival.

Back in the UK the company became a regular feature at some of the leading alternative music festivals before moving into more site specific circus theatre in 2005. Invisible Circus has made its name creating large scale events such as Carny Ville as well as staging smaller more intimate shows and installations.

Circus Shorts is at the Grand Theatre tonight and Thursday. All seats £15. Concessions available. Book both nights for £20 per person.

To book call the Box Office on (01253) 743339 or click on, or visit us at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.