250 years of circus: Dreamland Margate celebrates its history with acrobatic circus programme and residency
- The iconic amusement park will have high-altitude acrobats ‘Gorilla Circus’ in residence from May to September.
- Following their huge popularity in 2017, ‘Circus Wednesdays’ are back with a host of eclectic entertainment at the park throughout August.
- Dreamland will celebrate its rich history as the site was once owned by showman and circus proprietor, ‘Lord’ George Sanger.
1st May 2018
250 years ago, the world’s first ever circus took place in the UK. In celebration of this and its very own history, Dreamland Margate today announces that it will welcome Gorilla Circus to its site until September as part of a programme of circus entertainment throughout the summer.
Gorilla Circus provides a high-octane outdoor show on an impressive circus set up. Combining aerial, high wire, trapeze and other “fly by the sea of your pants” circus spectacles, the performers can be can be seen training on their circus rig, set up on the large events site at Dreamland from 5th May. They will be preparing and rehearsing for the twice-daily shows (1.30pm and 4.30pm) which they will perform during opening hours at Dreamland from 26th May. In residence at the park until 2nd September, the circus will be included in all of the park’s entry options. Dreamland members go free.
Performers from Gorilla Circus will also be running a week-long circus school from 13th-17th August. This will include clowning, trampoline, aerial and trapeze skills for 11-25 year olds to learn and enjoy. Tickets will go on sale soon.
Following their hugely popular appearances at Dreamland in the summer of last year, the Coasters Touring Network will be bringing another series of international artistes to the park in August. The return of Circus Wednesdays will see favourites Dizzy O’Dare – who wowed the crowds with his Giant Balloon Show in 2017 and The Strong Lady, who combines muscle and grace as she presents an elegant array of feats of strength.
New acts for this year include 8 Songs – a series of choreographed juggling vignettes set to 8 classic rock and roll songs. In addition, Jessica Arpin’s ‘Kalabaz’ performance combines poetry, clown and circus, with acrobatics on a canary-yellow bike all while speaking backwards! Motionhouse and NoFit State Circus will bring together their unique styles in BLOCK – a collaboration which sees 20 oversized blocks deconstructed and reformed into an infinite variety of shapes for performers to play on, move with and explore.
All Circus Wednesday performances are included within all park entry options. Dreamland members go free.
Rebecca Ellis, Senior Creative Producer at Dreamland said: “Circus is something we have wanted to bring to Dreamland for some time. We’re very excited to be showcasing it in such a wide range of ways and using a variety of the spaces we have around the park. Dreamland has such a unique entertainment offering and it’s particularly special to be curating these events and celebrating the history of the park.”
Notes to editors
One of the oldest surviving amusement parks in the UK, Dreamland Margate is a world-class visitor attraction offering all the fun of a festival for the whole family. Located opposite the golden sands of rejuvenated Margate, visitors to Dreamland can enjoy vintage, family and thrill rides, pop-up entertainment, live music and art installations, alongside eclectic bars and street food.
Since re-opening in 2017 after significant investment, Dreamland has continued to deliver fun experiences with a twist of the unexpected, from hosting 15,000 people at theDemon Dayz music festival featuring Gorillaz to opening a range of exciting new rides throughout the 2018 season. Dreamland was also voted Runner-Up for Best Family Theme Park at the 2017 Family Traveller Awards. With fast road and rail links, you can visit Dreamland Margate in less than 90 minutes from London.
Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Coasters is a three-year project that brings world-class circus and street arts work to coastal towns across England. SeaChange Arts lead a consortium of 10 organisations with the shared ambition of building relationships with audiences in areas of lower engagement and helping transform perceptions of coastal towns.
Coasters will see top quality UK and international circus and street arts work programmed in events and festivals around the coast of England. Each Coasters partner will work with their own local partners to build audiences among the lowest engaged, while the project will also look to increase visitor audiences to each location. Brilliant, exciting, engaging, entertaining and accessible, the work presented will be programmed with the coast in mind – resonant and reflective of coastal locations and audiences.
- Wednesday 1st August – Dizzy O Dare’s Giant Balloon Show.
- Wednesday 8th August – Gandini – 8 songs.
- Wednesday 15th August – Jessica Arpin – Kalabazi
- Wednesday 22nd August – The Strong Lady
- Wednesday 29th August – No Fit State – BLOCK