Circus 1903: Bringing back the golden age of Circus

‘I really wanted to go back to the turn of the century where the acts were dangerous, breathtaking, edge of your seats, and where animals were really at the forefront of the show,’ explains Circus 1903’s creative producer Simon Painter.

In this short video produced ahead of Circus 1903’s European premiere, here at Southbank Centre in December 2018, Painter and the show’s Director, Neil Dorward, explain the origins of Circus 1903, and also how they seek to recreate the spectacle of an Edwardian era circus in a modern space. So, how do you get an elephant into the Royal Festival Hall?

Bringing Back The Golden Age | Circus 1903

Circus, at the turn of the century, was the biggest thing in the world. When it travelled from city to city it was almost like the Olympics, pop concerts and movies all rolled into one.
Neil Dorward, Director, Circus 1903

After a succesful debut at Southbank Centre in December 2018, we are delighted that Circus 1903 will be returning to Royal Festival Hall in December 2019. Details about performance dates and tickets will be available in due course.


With a passion for works that defy categorisation, Southbank Centre is the place to see things you have never seen on stage before. Dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret and all sorts in between, brought to you by international artists and up and coming names. 

upcoming performances