SEARCH
Henshall Joins Gomez & "Hotlips" in M...
THEATRE NEWS
My Fair Lady Extends West End Run...

Cirque du Soleil Abandons Plans for Battersea

By • West End
The award-winning Canadian circus company, Cirque du Soleil, has abandoned its plans to establish a permanent London base at the Battersea Power Station, where it is currently presenting its second big-top run of Quidam (pictured) ahead of a US tour.

It was a year ago this month that the company announced its ambitious aim to build the first of six worldwide entertainment complexes in capital cities. The London complex, as part of a £500 million redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, was to be the first, as well as the company's first permanent base outside of North America. Cirque says it still hopes to build a London complex but is now considering other sites.

Cirque du Soleil was established in Quebec in 1984 by a troupe of street performers. Since then, it has grown to employ over 2,000 people (500 of them performers) presenting seven shows across four continents. To date, the company has sold more than 30 million tickets for its shows, which blend traditional circus skills with street entertainment and big-budget effects.

Built in 1930, Battersea Power Station is a Grade I-listed structure and believed to be the largest brick building in Europe. Its size, its four tall chimneys and its prime location on the south bank of the River Thames have combined to make it one of London's most recognisable landmarks. In the 1970s, it featured on the album cover for Pink Floyd's "Animals". Despite its renown, however, the now-dilapidated station has stood empty since 1975.

Cirque's planned venue at the Power Station was meant to comprise some 2,000 seats and a performance space reaching 50 to 70 metres high (in order to accommodate the circus's famous aerial routines). The company has returned this month to the grounds of the Battersea Power Station for a second consecutive Christmas season of its show Quidam, for which it has erected a specially-built, 2500-seat capacity "Grand Chapiteau" circus tent.

The rest of the redevelopment of the Power Station, led by Hong Kong-based developers Parkview International and agreed by Wandsworth Council, is due to continue.

- by Terri Paddock


comments powered by Disqus

By providing information about entertainment and cultural events on this site, WhatsOnStage.com shall not be deemed to endorse,
recommend, approve and/or guarantee such events, or any facts, views, advice and/or information contained therein.

©1999-2014 WhatsOnStage.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use & Privacy Policy