The Exploded Circus at The Lowry Manchester Review

16-17 June 2018


Reviewed by Kim Bickerdike

We arrived at The Lowry theatre in Salford, Manchester excited to see a different take on a circus performance and was unsure as what to expect.

When we took our seats, we were both impressed with how brilliant and striking the stage looked. It didn’t look anything like a traditional circus, in fact it looked as if a circus had exploded. All the usual paraphernalia you would associate with a traditional big top was suspended from the ceiling. There was a dark and eerie feel to the set but this all added to the intrigue.

The performance started when the 6 all female performers dressed in steam-punk like attire stepped out from behind the props strewn across the stage, the start was a bit slow and I struggled to follow the storyline. Each performer had their own skill and took it in turn to demonstrate their acrobatic ability. There was a juggler, trapeze artist, aerial displays, contortionist, and a trick bike which was my favourite. The show was non-verbal but told a story of how a circus had exploded and been frozen in time and the performers were trying to find a new world. The music which accompanied the performance was macabre and this added to the dark atmosphere.

The performers were also reorganising the props on the stage and setting up for the next scene and at times I didn’t know where to look as even though there was one main performance taking place, in the background there was a lot going on and this was quite distracting, although I do feel this was intentional as to try and demonstrate the chaos left behind by the explosion.

The highlights of this show which lasted 75 minutes was when Alice Allart performed on the trick bike. The tricks she demonstrated were nothing short of amazing and she has real talent. I too enjoyed the tightrope walking performed by Arielle Lauzon and Alice Allart along a string of lights. My friend who accompanied me enjoyed the multiple aerial displays performed by Coral Dawson, Farrell Cox and Rebecca Rennison who plays a Supergirl like character and the juggling by Lynn Scott which was scattered throughout the show was superb, challenging and highly entertaining.

This was like no other circus I have been to before and probably wouldn’t be suitable for young children due to the dark nature of the show. Every acrobat was hugely talented and entertaining in their own unique way, but I think the confusing storyline made it difficult for me to be fully engaged with the show.

I would recommend this show to people who have an interest in the arts and enjoy contemporary and interpretive shows.

Rating: 3/5

For more information and tour dates visit

For other shows The Lowry in Manchester visit or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000


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