The Circus was founded in 1991 by a French Canadian who wanted to teach Ethiopian street children to perform tricks so that they could earn money. It has grown from the original small band to a membership of 1,000 with its own schools and satellite troupes, playing on home ground to audiences of 3 to 5,000 for free. Unusually for a circus act, music and dance take centre stage, and parents of a nervous disposition would do well to avoid the aisle seats, as audience participation is also a feature of several parts of the show. Education is another aspect of the performance (which is supported by Oxfam), as, in Brighton at least, a condom was planted on one of the fathers who was dragged onto the stage as part of an Aids awareness routine. Confused local children took it for a balloon as the mischievous pre-teen performer responsible grinned.
QEH, South Bank, SE1 (0171-921 0600) Thur 28 May & Sun 31 May, 11.30am pounds 7/pounds 5 concs, family ticket pounds 18Reuse content