1. It's not often you get to see so many contemporary circus artists under one roof
Across the weekend, audiences will have the chance to see performances from Alice Allart, Linn Broden, Simone Riccio, Yam Doyev, Joli Vyann, Duo’ver, Stefano di Renzo, Lindsay Butcher, Cirkus Mlejn, Frederike Gerstner, Francesca Martello, Collectif and then..., Upswing and Tumble Circus.
2. Award-winning Tumble Circus bring their new show, Death or Circus, inside for the very first time
Can celebrity anarchists and circus devilry save our children? Ireland’s award-winning, dynamic acrobatic duo Tumble Circus are credited with turning the circus tradition on its head. Their recent show This is What We Do for a Living won Best Circus Show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2012 and played to packed audiences at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their new show, Death or Circus, is a satire on celebrity culture hosted by Bono and Bjork, using circus skills including duo trapeze, corde lisse, acrobatics, slapstick and clowning. Death or Circus, Saturday 24 November, 7.30pm
3. The opening night of Beyond Circus is dedicated entirely to female contemporary circus artists
Off the Ground is an opportunity to see female circus artists from the UK and Europe showcase new work in development. Dark and playful pieces exploring different themes take place around and above you in an immersive, thought-provoking and visually captivating experience. Curator Vicki Amedume of Upswing says: "A lot of companies are female-lead, circus is a form that is hugely empowering for women. There are lots of really powerful women in circus and I wanted to celebrate that." (Off the Ground, Thursday 22 November, 7.30pm)
4. Circus Bites Cabaret is hosted by London Cabaret Award nominee Tricity Vogue
Albany perennial and ukulele-strumming songstress, Tricity Vogue, will mix her signature cocktail of cabaret, comedy and song to host Circus Bites Cabaret. An Edinburgh fixture with a sizeable following, the UK's First Lady of the Uke is currently nominated for a London Cabaret Award (Best Vocal Act). She also featured in Frisky and Mannish’s hilarious repost to Gary Barlow’s ‘too cabaret’ put-down on the X Factor, which has taken the internet by storm, and co-hosted last year's Circus Bites at the Albany which was a sell-out. (Circus Bites Cabaret, Friday 23 November, 7.30pm)
5. Beyond Circus is presented as part of the Albany’s 30th birthday celebrations
2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Albany on Douglas Way in Deptford. To celebrate, the venue has planned a special programme of events for both audiences and the local community to enjoy from September 2012 to May 2013. The Albany’s theatre-in-the-round was originally built with circus performance in mind with a central atrium that opens to the sky – much like a ‘big top’ – and the venue continues to champion the development and presentation of contemporary circus in South East London.