Circus Abyssinia's Ethiopian Dreams: a week in the life

We invite Betty Dejene, one of the cast of Circus Abyssinia to give us a week in their shoes as they open on London’s South Bank for a run as part of the Underbelly Festival

Circus Abyssinia at the Underbelly Festival
Circus Abyssinia at the Underbelly Festival
© Andrey Petrov

After runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, in Singapore and Adelaide, Circus Abyssinia are heading to London's South Bank as part of this year's Underbelly Festival. The company's hour-long show is an exuberant, family-friendly celebration of circus tradition and Ethiopian heritage, and follows two boys as they explore the world around them. The show was described as "joy-fuelled talent at its purest" in our review.

We asked troupe member Betty Dejene to give us a look at the show during its opening week.

Seeing double

BD: "On the way to the venue with Bibi and Ezera (who plays Little Bibi in the show!)"

Going through the motions

BD: "Rehearsal time!"

Caffeine top-up

BD: "Coffee break!"

Stretch on the stairs

BD: "What happens when we have the whole theatre to ourselves…"

Clubbing of the juggling kind

BD: "Always practising!"

Meet the press

BD: "Quick interview!"

The set in construction

BD: "Rigging the Chinese Poles in pre-show rehearsal."

Oh what a circus!

BD: "Pre-show ritual – 'Circus Abyssinia!'"