Piccadilly Circus Circus
Stuck for something to do in London, this afternoon? Hop foot it to Picadilly Circus which, in celebration of the London 2012 Games, will be transformed into a pedestrianised paradise, full of surprises and spectacle, as streets are brought to life and iconic landmarks become the playground for some of the world’s most exciting contemporary circus performers
For one day only, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Lower Regent Street, Piccadilly and Waterloo Place will become PICCADILLY CIRCUS CIRCUS, a pop-up circus spectacular.
This extraordinary live event will take place from 1pm until after dark today and will feature more than 240 international circus artists comprising 17 nationalities, including aerialists, high wire trapeze artists, hula hoopers, jugglers, stilt acrobats, BMX street dance, tightrope walkers, acrobats, Chinese pole artists, aerial dance performers, contemporary clowns, musicians and a beat boxer.
Piccadilly Circus Circus is one of several high profile events being presented by the Mayor of London and the London 2012 Festival as part of an unprecedented summer of cultural events taking place in every corner of the capital that is showcasing the UK’s world leading arts and landmarks when the eyes of the world are on us. It is also supported by the Olympic Lottery Distributor with National Lottery funds and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
Performances will unfold on 12 specially created stages and structures at street level and above, including a freestanding 13.5 metre-tall circular structure at Waterloo Place that will host flying trapeze artists, Cirk Vost, and a 10 metre rigged goal post spanning Piccadilly that will host nine aerial artists. Roaming performers will also mingle with the crowd as spectators promenade between stages.
The day will culminate at sunset with a dramatic aerial finale in Piccadilly Circus. The London skyline will be transformed in unforgettable style as French artists’ Les Studios de Cirque presents the UK premiere of Place des Anges.
Granted 24 hours parole from heaven, a renegade group of angels play merrily in the sky. Gradually drawn down to the Earth, the angels begin to shed their wings, and feathers begin to fall on the unsuspecting spectators below…
Soaring more than 30 metres over the audience on zip wires strung across Piccadilly Circus, Place des Anges is unlike anything ever before seen in the Capital. It was created by Stéphane Girard and founder of cult circus troupe Archaos, Pierrot Bidon. Place des Anges was the last work Pierrot Bidon created before his death in 2010.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Piccadilly Circus Circus is a truly one-off spectacle, a thrilling highlight of the many free events we’re hosting to celebrate the Games. Not many people know that 18th century London was home to modern circus and the first shopping arcades in Britain. So where better to stage this extraordinary event than the West End, the most exciting entertainment and shopping capital in the world today? With the sky as the big top, it’ll be one of the greatest shows on earth, so roll up roll up for a thrilling day in this summer like no other.”