Underbelly CIRCUS HUB returns! One-stop shop for circus, cabaret and variety shows announced at Edinburgh Fringe

Underbelly makes a triumphant post-pandemic return to its spiritual home at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with 10 incredible shows spanning circus, cabaret, comedy, variety and more. Covering two dazzling venues – The Lafayette and The Beauty – as well as a charming bar, Underbelly’s Circus Hub offers the perfect antidote to the madness of the Mile with a host of shows to dazzle, delight and inspire, including:

Featuring the most impressive acts from the UK and around the world, Underbelly’s Circus Hub hosts an incredibly diverse lineup with performers from the US to Australia and from Ethiopia to Canada.

  • The multi-award-winning Olivier cabaret spectacular LA CLIQUE returns to the Fringe with new artists and must-sees.

  • CIRCUS ABYSSINIA’s breathtaking show, TULU, inspired by the Olympic gold of Ethiopian superwoman Derartu Tulu

  • CIRCA: HUMANS 2.0, a symphony of acrobatics, sound and light celebrating the beauty of the human form.

  • CIRQUE ALFONSE: ANIMAL, a dazzling and delicious show for the whole family, filled with wacky antics that takes the farm from farming to funky.

  • SPLASH TEST DUMMIES, a circus-fueled slapstick comedy to entertain the whole family.

  • BLUNDERLAND, a fun, naughty and strangely erotic show born from the New York underground queer nightlife scene,

  • BRIEFS: BITE CLUB, a mischievous mash-up of Australia’s infamous boy troupe featuring the soaring voice of Sahara Beck in a ferocious display of talent.

  • REBEL, a scintillating circus glam-rock tribute to the original rebel, David Bowie.

  • HOTEL PARADISO, a fun and colorful family show that combines the whimsy of the Fawlty towers with superb acrobatics, clowns and jugglers shows.

  • BRAVE SPACE directed entirely by women, an intimate and immersive production that creates a bold and beautiful dystopian utopia filled with circus, artistry and bravery.

Established in 2015, The Underbelly Circus Hub was the first-ever major circus-dedicated space at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The venue names – La Fayette (550-seat marquee) and Beauty (500-seat Spiegeltent) – have a deeper history and pay homage to Edinburgh’s great tradition of circus performances. Named after two of the greatest circus performers and illusionists in history – The Great Lafayette and his beloved dog Beauty. These remarkable venues celebrate Edinburgh’s circus performance heritage, while providing state-of-the-art spaces to host spectacular and technically ambitious circus works on a level never seen before at the Fringe, right in the beating heart of the city.

Beyond the Circus Hub, Underbelly will also feature the spectacular Boom! at McEwan Hall from August 4 to 28 at 3:30 p.m. This production brings together artists from Cirk La Putyka (Czech Republic) and the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Arts (Ukraine) to collaborate on a new show about family, freedom and borders. Accompanied by haunting music, Boom! celebrates the incredible talent of the circus as well as the resilience and optimism in the face of adversity.

For tickets and more information, go to: www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk

EVENTS PROGRAM

BUNDERLAND

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 9:55 p.m. (60min)

Previews: August 5 (£14.00)

Weekdays: 10-11,16-18,23-25 ​​August (£16.50/£15.50)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£18.50/£17.50)

Genre: Absurd, Circus

The subversive hit of the international cabaret and circus circuit, we’ve arrived with a HEAVY dose of what we all need right now: outrageous nightlife naughtiness, club-kid antics and a heady dose of arthouse oddity. Born out of New York’s underground queer nightlife scene, this show draws packed crowds around the world who are captivated by its unique, whimsical, and ridiculous combinations of performances. Join us for an evening of sensually disastrous drag, burlesque and circus you won’t forget!!

COURAGEOUS SPACE

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 11h00 (60min)

Weekdays: 10-11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£13.00/£12.00)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£14.00/£13.00)

Genre: Circus, Immersive

Brave Space is the construction of a cover fort, weaving under a hoop skirt, an impulsive congregation in the smallest of tents. Beginning as a puddle of fabric on the floor, it grows to encompass a wonderful circus world. Intimate and low-tech, audiences come face-to-face with an all-female cast of daring physical artists to build the world we want to live in, even for a few shared moments. “Brave Space imagines a sort of dystopian utopia, in which peril is made present but survivable, even beautiful. Its living, beating heart remains constant” (Chicago Tribune).

BRIEFS: MORCE CLUB

Underbelly Circus Center on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 8:45 p.m. (70min)

Preview: August 5 (£14.00)

Weekdays: 10-11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£18.00/£17.00)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£20.00/£19.00)

Genre: Circus, Music

Briefs Factory, Australia’s award-winning cult cabaret, teams up with highly acclaimed songbird Sahara Beck. An event jumped into a hedonistic haze of music, circus, drag, burlesque, theater and comedy. Described as one of Australia’s most arresting performers, Sahara Beck’s soaring voice will blast the power of female pride into the ferociously fierce displays of talent from the BRIEFS boys you know and love. Their deft deception and jaw-dropping hooliganism will be bathed in suave synth, heady hooks and swelling strings, all set to a glorious pop pulse.

CIRCA: HUMANS 2.0

Underbelly Circus Center on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 6:35 p.m. (60min)

Preview: August 5 (£12.00)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£21.00 / £20.00)

Weekday: 11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£18.00 / 17.00)

Genre: Circus, Theater

A symphony of acrobatics, sound and light, this is Circa’s next level circus. 10 bodies appear in a flash of light. They move in harmony for a fleeting moment then sink into a sinuous trance. Towers grow and decay, bodies leap and get caught, while physical limits are pushed to their limits. Can we ever find a perfect balance or is adapting to constant change the only way forward? A tightly woven body choreography, pulsed by music, Humans 2.0 is intimate, primal and deeply engaged in the challenge of being human.

ABYSSINE CIRCUS: TULU

Underbelly Circus Center on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 2:15 p.m. (60min)

Weekdays: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£18.00/£16.50)

Weekends: 10-11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£16.00/£14.50)

Genre: Circus, International

A dazzling display of speed, skill and flight lands in Edinburgh this summer, celebrating the first African woman to win Olympic gold. Inspired by the true story of an Ethiopian icon, Derartu Tulu, this must-see showcase of superhuman strength blends jaw-dropping contortion, awe-inspiring acrobatics and haunting fire juggling with an exuberant rock soundtrack. Circus Abyssinia made their UK debut at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and took part in the Royal Variety Performance the same year. After touring internationally, including a sold-out New York tour, they are thrilled to return with their highly anticipated new show.

CIRCUS ALFONSE: ANIMALS

Underbelly Circus Center on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 4:25 p.m. (60min)

Weekdays: 11.16-18.23-25 ​​Aug (£17.50/£16.50)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£19.50/£18.50)

Genre: Circus, Music, Family

Cirque Alfonse takes us through a series of surreal agricultural fables served up with a touch of irreverence, impressive virtuosity and the company’s familiar comedic touch. In this reinvented agricultural world, the farm is upside down! Once again, the Cirque Alfonse clan favored its multidisciplinary approach where circus, song, dance and theater come together, carried by original live music… an irresistible mix of trad and soul that the troupe describes as “agricultural funk!” A production for young and old, ANIMAL is the crazy farm!

MANNEQUINS: SPLASH TEST

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Lafayette) | 12:05 (60mins)

Weekdays: 10-11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£11.50/£12.50)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£12.50/£13.50)

Genre: Family, Circus
The Splash Test Dummies are here, ready to roll out their beach towels and dive into an hour of circus-filled hilarity for the whole family. Experience a brilliant array of jaw-dropping stunts, acrobatics, juggling and the jaw-dropping slapstick comedy the models are famous for. Join the Dummies and come dive from bathtubs to beaches in this aquatic adventure!

Winner of Best Children’s Presentation – Adelaide Fringe 2020.

PARADISE HOTEL

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 15:20 (60min)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£15.50 / £14.50)

Weekday: Aug 10-11.16-18.23-25 ​​3.20pm (£14.50/£13.50)

Genre: Family, Circus

Irresistibly colorful, loud and fun for the whole family. Spectacular and thrilling circus skills, physical comedy, clowning, theatrical storytelling and slapstick combine in this sequel to the international hit, The Hogwallops from ‘good ol’ contemporary circus’ company, LiT. A ramshackle hotel becomes a physical playground for a multinational cast of six highly skilled acrobats, clowns and jugglers. Madame and the charming staff of the strangely inefficient Hotel Paradiso fight to save their home and their livelihood from the dastardly banker. “The UK’s most acclaimed family circus company” (WhatsOnStage.com). “My favorite family show on the Fringe…perfect” (Fest).

THE CLICK

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 7:35 p.m. (70min)

Preview: August 5 (£14.00)

Weekdays: 6-8.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£21.00/£20.00)

Weekend: 9-11.16-18.23-25 ​​August (£19.00/£18.00)

Genre: Cabaret & Variety, Comedy, Circus

The multi-award-winning cabaret show, La Clique, showcases the best of circus, comedy and cabaret. Born at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004 and subsequently gaining international acclaim as it toured the world, this original and innovative spiegeltent-based cabaret show brings you a wonderful collection of extraordinary new artists and must-see favourites. A decade after winning the Olivier Best Entertainment award and fresh off of performances in London and Singapore, La Clique promises to be a night of laughs, gasps, naughtiness and the best in international cabaret.

REBEL

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 5:30 p.m. (60min)

Weekdays: 10-11,16-18,23-25 ​​August (£15.50/£14.50)

Weekend: 6-9.12-14.19-21.26-27 August (£16.50/£15.50)

Genre: Music, Cabaret

A live circus rock tribute to the original rebel, David Bowie. Take to the stage in the mosh pit for a night of live music, glittering glam rock, phenomenal acrobatics, jaw-dropping aerials and a jaw-dropping spectacle. Combining music and circus, bringing to life an incredible body of work that spans over 50 years, with an aesthetic that has inspired generations.

For more information on ticketing, go to www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk and follow Underbelly on social media @FollowTheCow

Laura J. Boyer