Wednesday, April 19, 2023




Canberra Circus Festival.

Artistic Director  Tom Davis. Presented by Warehouse Circus. Chifley Community Oval. Maclaurin Cres.. Chifley. April 18-23 2023. Programme and further information at  

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins


What wide-eyed youngster hasn’t dreamt of running away to the circus? Amidst the clapping and the screaming at the Canberra Circus Festival Gala Opening performance, it must have been a thought bursting through the imagination of the enthusiastic audience. The Canberra Circus Festival, hosted by Canberra’s own Warehouse Circus under the artistic direction of Tom Davis returns to the ACT after its successful inaugural season last year. In its new location on the Chifley Memorial Oval and in the impressive May Wirth Big Top, the festival whet the appetites with a variety of acts by students of Warehouse Circus followed by polished, awesome feats of prowess by professional artists.

Jack Wild and Cab Suave

MC Shep Huntly kept the audience lapping it all up and raising the big top with their applause. Young circus performers filled the tent with gusto and an energetic and enthusiastic display of skills in acrobatics and aerialist acts. What they lack in professional slickness and polish, they make up for in their disciplined commitment to their training, The tumbling and balancing are executed with trusting confidence and a certain aplomb that attests to their showmanship. Whether being whirled around or climbing on shoulders to create a three person tower, every young Warehouse performer revelled in the physical and mental challenges of the circus. These are young performers on the way to becoming accomplished circus performers.

Jake Silvestro from Suitcase Circus

To inspire and encourage members of Warehouse Circus, the Canberra Circus Festival has invited almni Jack Wild of Cab Suave , Jake Silvestro of Suitcase Circus  and Sian Brigid of Sideshow Self-indulgence to strut their stuff after performing with professional companies and turning their hobby into their profession. All began their training with Warehouse Circus and it was obvious that they have developed into consummate performers. They are the perfect role models for those younger members of Warehouse Circus and an inspiration to any who may have their eyes on a career in the circus. Jack Wild entertained with the challenging balancing on a ladder, while Silvestro showed his agility, strength and flexibility on the Cyr Wheel. Brigid gave a sideshow of acrobatic dance that came to a climax in a shower of sparks as the circular saw streaked across the metal on her costume. It’s not recommended for audience members to try at home.

As the piece de resistance the international duo, Her Majesty’s Secret Circus amazed with a juggling routine with flaming torches. At the end of their four month tour and before returning to USA, the two jugglers (Brent and Maya McCoy) ended the gala in flaming style after an evening of skill and panache that enthralled the packed audience in the May Wirth tent. 

Her Majesty's Service

The Canberra Circus Festival   will be on every day until the end of the weekend. Warehouse Circus will be performing along with renowned professional circus troupes like Her Majesty’s Secret Circus and Suitcase Circus. There is something for everyone and this locally grown festival deserves full houses. If the Gala is anything to go by then audiences are in for exciting thrills and spills and a touch of glitter, glamour and gusto. For sheer, fun-filled entertainment you too can run awat to the circus at the Canberra Circus Festival.