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Carnesky’s Showwomen Sideshow Spectacular

Presented by Carnesky Productions

An extraordinary promenade performance journey, in the historic Smithfield Grand Avenue.

This ground-breaking new show brings a highly skilled and truly diverse all women cast who are reclaiming the carnival-like history of the original Bartholomew Fair through a new trans-inclusive feminist lens.

Exploring the heritage of women entertainers in British circus and variety, the performance tells the untold herstory of extraordinary working-class entertainment from feminist and activist perspectives, exploring the legacy of marginalised women entertainers and the lived experiences of exceptional performers today.

A cast of amazing women and non-binary people will deliver performances and stunts with a sense of danger and intrigue, resulting in a truly memorable theatrical experience. Aerialists, Illusionists, wrestlers, glass walkers, drag kings, contemporary clowns, reimagined fairground games and fortune telling make for a visionary and magical experience.

With specially designed unique sideshow stages, original story telling and jaw dropping acts - Carnesky’s Showwomen Sideshow Spectacular brings you 7 hours of non-stop performance including hair hanger/comedienne Fancy Chance, sword climber and spoken word artist Livia Kojo Alour, western skills and fire performer Lucifire, rising comedy star Elf Lyons, Hoola Hooping Guinness world record holder Symone, ‘Sports Woman of the Year’ winning wrestler and campaigner Claire Heafford, Eva Greens body double ‘Dumbo’ aerial superstar Katherine Arnold, contemporary Bollywood dancer Kaajel and magician Laura London.

Date: 16 September*

Times: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm.

Location: Grand Avenue, Smithfield Market 

Duration: 55 mins

(*You can also explore street performances with Carnesky's Street of Showwomen along Cloth Fair from 14-16 September)

What to expect: Circus / Theatre / Sideshows / Family friendly

Advisory notice: Please be advised this performance contains the use of theatrical props including swords, a whip (will also make a loud noise when used) and broken glass. All props are specially designed and manufactured for theatrical use and performers are expertly trained in the use of these props.

Access: Each performance will start on the hour and runs for a 55 minute cycle. We encourage you to arrive a few minutes ahead of the performance start time so you can experience the full show. However you can turn up at any point during the day and stay for as long as you wish. If capacity for Grand Avenue is reached, you may be asked to wait before entering the performance. Staff and stewards will be on hand to help and advise you. They may suggest coming back at the next performance time if necessary.

Three performers on a red illuminated stage background.

Image ©Sarah Hickson

About Carnesky Productions

Founded by Creative Director, Marisa Carnesky in 2004, Carnesky Productions is a performance and theatre company responsible for original large and small scale interactive performance works (including Carnesky’s Ghost Train 2004-2014, Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman 2015 Ongoing and alternative stage school Carnesky’s Finishing School). Carnesky Productions is interested in the use of spectacle; fairground rides, magic illusions and grand ritual as a means of creating highly accessible provocative work, rooted in popular culture that promotes cultural and political discourses.

‘Formidable, feminist, satirical, and spectacular, this is a show which appreciates the corporeal and spiritual in tandem.’ ★★★★★ - Broadway Baby

‘A perfect cast of master performers’ ★★★★★ - To Do List LondonDuration

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