On 2 September 2012 in celebration of the London 2012 Games, Central London 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 13.00 until after dark on Sunday 2 September 2012 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 twelve 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.
Piccadilly Circus Circus will involve a series of road closures to create a pedestrianised paradise for spectators. Piccadilly Circus itself will be closed to traffic from 04.00 on 1 September to 05.00 on 3 September for the event.
Piccadilly Circus Circus is conceived and created by Crying Out Loud. Curated by Co- Artistic Directors Rachel Clare and Aletta Collins, it features original music by Street Furniture Music.
Piccadilly Circus Circus has been commissioned by the Mayor of London and the London 2012 Festival, with funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London 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.”
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival said: “The London 2012 Festival has commissioned events across the UK that showcase our world leading artists and much loved landscapes. Piccadilly Circus Circus will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that will make people look at this world renowned part of the Capital in a very different way.”
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport said: “As the London 2012 Festival draws to a close, Piccadilly Circus Circus is set to be one of the most exciting and breathtaking festival highlights yet. The festival has well and truly delivered on its aim to provide ‘something for everyone’, and to date, 12 million people have seen or taken part in a festival event. I know people will be talking about this amazing circus spectacular, in the heart of capital, for many years to come.”
Rachel Clare, Co-Artistic Director, Crying Out Loud said: “It’s an amazing moment for Londoners to see the best contemporary circus artists en masse in one day. There is huge hidden talent out there, and it’s not always what you expect. This is a pop up contemporary Circus to give Piccadilly Circus a fantastical identity to celebrate 2012 and in terms of skill, training and endurance there are parallels between many of these artists and Olympic and Paralympic athletes. It’s also hugely entertaining and fun with an element of mystery thrown in!”
Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, Chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor said “I am delighted that National Lottery funding is supporting Piccadilly Circus Circus. Our support for the London 2012 Festival aims to bring cultural events to as wide an audience as possible and this exciting one-off event, taking place against the backdrop of these London landmarks and a range of fantastic artists, will create some truly memorable moments.”
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Notes to Editors
For schedule information and further details visit PiccadillyCircusCircus.co.uk. The evening finale, Places des Anges, will be streamed live from 8pm via the website.
Images will be available to download from the ftp site: www.contentcube.com/public/pcc.
Mayor of London presents a summer like no other
The Mayor of London is hosting a huge programme of free events and celebrations throughout this summer like no other, including some specially commissioned as part of a citywide events programme that add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. They include SURPRISES, free, secret performances such as Piccadilly Circus Circus, that simply pop up without warning taking over some of central London’s most iconic landmarks. Other highlights include SHOWTIME, an outdoor arts festival bringing the best UK and international talent to perform in high streets and open spaces across the city. While SECRETS uncovers some of London’s hidden gems with performances and installations in canals, nature reserves and atop mysterious hills.
For full details of the programme, visit:
Department of Culture, Media and Sport
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is the host Government department for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is responsible for bringing together the legacy benefits brought by all the wider sporting, cultural, environmental, educational and business enterprise initiatives that will take place all over the country as a result of the Games before, during and after 2012.
DCMS’s supports the cultural sector and its many world-class cultural institutions as they work together, through the Cultural Olympiad Board, to deliver the cultural programme. Many DCMS-funded bodies are making significant financial contributions to the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival – from Arts Council England to Legacy Trust UK, and National Lottery distributors.
DCMS has been making its own direct funding contributions ranging from helping local communities up and down the country to join in, to major iconic moments that will create lasting memories for many. Piccadilly Circus Circus will be a highlight of the London 2012 Festival and DCMS is delighted to support this spectacular event.
The Olympic Lottery Distributor
The Olympic Lottery Distributor is pleased to support Piccadilly Circus Circus, one of the highlights of the London 2012 Festival. As a Principal Funder of the London 2012 Festival, the OLD has already used National Lottery funding to support a wide range of exciting cultural events bringing communities together across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Games. As well as funding the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, the OLD has also provided significant National Lottery funding to the infrastructure of London 2012, £66 million to the staging of the Paralympic Games and £3.4 million to the network of Live Sites across the UK.
For further information about the work of the Olympic Lottery Distributor visit: www.olympiclotterydistributor.org.uk
London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 over 18 million people all over the UK have already participated in or attended performances and workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors. Since the beginning of the London 2012 Festival on 21st June 2012, over 12 million people have attended Festival events, made possible by all of our partners. The London 2012 Festival runs until the last day of the Paralympic Games, on 9th September.
Piccadilly Circus Circus is one of the highlight events of the Festival.
Principal Funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
Supporters of the London 2012 Festival are BMW, Eurostar, Freshfields, King’s College London, Panasonic, Samsung, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, BBC, British Council, Creative Scotland, DCAL, DCMS, Festivals Edinburgh, Mayor Of London, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit Britain and Visit Scotland.
For more information on the London 2012 Festival:
Crying Out Loud
Established in 2002 by Rachel Clare, Crying Out Loud is an organisation that holds the work of artists at its centre. As a pioneer of the Creative Producer, mixing the established with the embryonic, the experimental with the exceptional, COL has since been creating memorable events for festivals and theatres in the UK, USA and Europe. Crying Out Loud is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.