Difficulty: Easy

Safety Warning: Make sure you have plenty of room, especially when throwing and catching the diabolo!

Alan shows you how to do diabolo stick grinds, moving the diabolo from the string to one of your sticks and keeping it spinning so it stays in place!

This is a great basic trick for students starting to move beyond just keeping the diabolo spinning on the string. You can practice at your own pace, and when you’re confident you can make the trick more complex!

First, Alan shows you how to move the diabolo from your string to the stick in your off hand. Once you have the diabolo spinning smoothly on the stick, hold your sticks at a right angle to one another, as Alan demonstrates. Raise your main hand up above your other hand so the diabolo rolls onto one stick and angle this stick slightly downwards so that the diabolo stays on it.

Alan then shows you some variations to make your diabolo stick grinds more complex, such as hopping the diabolo from one stick to another, or catching the grind from a throw.

Remember, it takes practice, and you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you!

Alan demonstrates with a solid-axle diabolo, but you can also use a triple-bearing axle diabolo.

If you need to brush up on the basics before mastering this trick, check out our Diabolo Basics tutorial.

You can view all our tutorials here.


The safety and welfare of children – also known as safeguarding – is everyone’s business. You could be a parent, relative, neighbour, friend, or you may work for any organisation which has contact with children and young people such as teacher or doctor.

Safeguarding means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults. It also means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. Most children generally enjoy a happy childhood experience within their own family. 

To report a safeguarding concern about a student at Circomedia please email safeguarding@circomedia.com. The inbox of this account is only viewed by the members of the safeguarding team.

Please use this reporting facility if you have concerns about a child studying with us.  We will investigate and follow up all reports.

Our next online brochure will be out in August.

Until then you can watch our videos for our previous brochures below or checkout our previous brochures here

Interested in our academy courses. Find them here

Difficulty: Easy

Safety Warning: This one’s pretty safe, but keep an eye on flailing arms as you practice this one!

Alan shows you how to take the next step and juggle 3 scarves! If you haven’t watched our Beginners’ Juggling video, you might find it helpful to go back and watch this first. You’ll learn a 2 Scarf pattern here, but Alan will also recap in this video for you.

Once you’re ready for 3 scarves, Alan will teach you how to build up to a cascade pattern in manageable steps. He shows you three patterns, building up the catches in each one, until you can do a full juggle!

Remember, in juggling it’s actually much more important to throw than to catch. So, don’t worry if you drop the scarves whilst you’re learning!

If you don’t have juggling scarves, you can do this trick with any light scarves or handkerchiefs you have. Or, you can use other objects like napkins or even plastic bags!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

We can’t bring you our regular Youth Circus classes at the moment, but we can still keep you entertained and occupied with our brand new Youth Circus: Home Edition platform! Watch all of our new videos here

Over the next few weeks we’re going to be bringing you lots of skills, games, tricks, stretches, exercises – all things that you can do without having to leave the house. And if you don’t have any equipment, don’t worry – we’re even going to be teaching you how to make some.

Grown ups: it’s really important that you help us here! You are now officially Youth Circus Assistants, because if we can’t be there, then you need to be there to help us keep it safe.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and there will be something for everyone. We’ll make sure that our videos cover lots of different skills and levels, so that everyone from our tiniest acrobat to our most advanced aerialist will have something to do.

Download your Mobile version of the poster here

Download your A4 printable version of the poster here

We’ll be releasing new videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – they’ll be on here, on our Facebook and other social media pages, and on our Youtube channel. In between, we’ll release arts and crafts activities, tricks of the day and more – scroll down to see what’s new!

Information Regarding Conronavirus

Circomedia Covid update 10/02/2022


· Circomedia asks that all those attending performances continue to wear masks while in the auditorium or walking around the building (unless under 12 or medically exempt).

· We continue, also, to operate at a lower capacity than previously to allow more space between audience members. While social distancing is no longer required under the guidance, we ask everyone to respect the choices of those who continue to prefer to keep their distance

· Our student protocols remain in place, to seek to prevent transmission of the virus amongst those studying and amongst staff

· We ask all our staff to test regularly and wear masks when moving around either site, or when working front of house and in the bar

· Additional cleaning of all public spaces is taking place

· Please remember to keep washing or sanitizing your hands

· Please do not attend any performance, class or other activity if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been told to self-isolate

Update June 2021

In line with Step 3 of the Government roadmap, Circomedia is open for performances again, adding to the programme of fomal courses and youth circus set out below. As a covid-safe venue, we are committed to keeping everyone safe who visits us.

Please find all the information you need on what we’re doing to keep you safe and what to expect on your visit with us.

Our safety measures

· Advanced booking online

· Group bookings of 6 or less, with 1 or 2 households

· Reduced capacity with a socially distanced seating plan

· One way system with clear signage

· Queue management to keep everyone 2m distanced

· Hand sanistiser stations

· Face coverings will be worn at all times, unless exempt or eating/drinking

· Contactless payments encouraged

· Enhanced cleaning regime

· Ventilation of space

· Staff will wear masks and participate in regular testing.

What you can do to keep others safe

Please do not come to the venue if you or others in your household are unwell and have symptoms of coronavirus (continuous cough, fever, loss of smell or taste) or if you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms. Stay at home and get a test. Book online for up to 6 people from one or two households

Use NHS Track and Trace or give your details on arrival, as per government guidance

Follow our one way system and keep a safe distance from others. Our friendly stewards will help find your way and stay safe

Use the hand sanitiser provided

Wear a mask at all times in our venue, unless you are exempt

Children must be supervised at all times by their adults to keep them a safe distance from others.

Reduced Audience

We are working within the Step 3 rules to provide you with socially distanced seating and will have fewer audience members.

Online bookings can be made for single seats or for groups of 2 or 4 people, from one or two households.

Face Coverings

Unless you are exempt, we ask our audiences and staff to keep masks on at all times when inside the building, including during the performance.

When the audience is seated, masks can be removed to enjoy food and drink.

Social Distancing

Our queuing system will be socially distanced at 2m.

A one way system is in place and our friendly stewards will be on hand to help you find you way and remain socially distanced from others.

NHS Track and Trace

As per government guidance each person must provide name and contact details on entering the venue. There will be a QR code to scan on your mobile using the NHS Track and Trace app.

If you are unable to use the NHS Track and Trace app, you will be required to give your name, email and contact number. We will only keep these details for 21 days, as per government guidance, to help trace any positive case of coronavirus at our venue.


Enhanced and regular cleaning of toilets and common areas like foyers and walkways will be carried out throughout your visit.

Please use the hand sanitiser stations throughout the venue.

Arriving at the event

Please leave plenty of time to arrive, visit the bar, and find your seats. Our doors will be open from 7pm, the show starts at 7.30pm sharp. While we’ve done our best to minimise waiting times, you may still need to queue to ensure that everyone can enter the building safely, so please arrive early if you can.

The bar will not be open during or after the performance so please make sure you’ve purchased all drinks in advance.

During the event

Please remain seated during the event where possible and keep interactions within your group.

Please refrain from loud cheering during the show and use clapping to show your enthusiasm.

If you need to move around follow the one way system or speak to our staff who will be happy to help.

Leaving the event

We ask you to remain in your seat at the end of the event and our friendly stewards will guide you out of the venue in the safest way possible. This is to ensure your safety when leaving the event and avoid overcrowding throughout the venue.

In the event of an emergency, our stewards will direct you to the nearest safe exit via the main and side building doors. Your exit may be different to the way you came in, so please remain calm, follow instructions, and wear your mask.

Update: 30 April 2021

We are delighted to have all BTEC, FDA, BA, MA and Vocational students back training at both our sites. Our FDA students recently presented live-streamed Final Major Projects to an enthusiastic and wide-reaching online audience, and we look forward to more successful streamed performances this term.

We ran a successful Easter Youth Circus Camp for 90 students during the school holidays, and have now commenced our Summer Term with our full cohort of 320+ students returning to regular after-school classes. Our Summer Camp is now also onsale.

We are also pleased to welcome back our outdoor bar, which reopened on 16 April 2021 and will be open on select weekends – check upcoming dates here.

Our Events team are now taking enquiries for space hire – get in touch with them here.

We won’t be restarting our Adult Classes on 17 May due to timetabling restrictions, but hope to return in the summer with a comprehensive programme – find out more on our Adult Classes pages.

Update: 1 March 2021

Following the latest Government announcement (22 Feb 2021), we are delighted to be making our own plans for gradually reopening our spaces in line with the roadmap out of lockdown. All activities will take place following updated Covid-Secure protocols, and making use of regular testing of students and staff where possible:

8 March 2021: All BTEC, FDA, BA, MA, and Vocational students will return to face-to-face teaching at our Portland Square and Kingswood sites. Find out more about our Academy courses here.

12 April 2021: Easter Youth Circus Camp 2021 will take place at Circomedia Kingswood (Mon 12 – Fri 16 April 2021). The camp will run in a similar to our Covid-Secure Summer Camp 2020 and booking is now open.

19 April 2021: Regular after-school Youth Circus clubs will return at both sites. Find out more about regular classes here.

We are currently looking at scheduling indoor events subject to restrictions lifting from May 2021 onwards. If you would like to get in touch about hiring our space, take a look here.

We will update this page with more information on adult recreational classes, performances, and other activities, when we have this information.


Update: 5 January 2021

Following the announcement of a third national lockdown, all public classes are sadly cancelled for at least the first half of Spring term. We hope to restart our Youth Circus classes at the end of February – all current bookers will be notified by email when we know more.

Our Academy team continues to work exceptionally hard to deliver a robust teaching programme online for all BTEC, FDA, BA, Vocational & MA students. Students will return to in-person teaching as soon as it is safe to do so, and are once again proving their resilience and commitment in adapting to these further restrictions.

Update: 18 December 2020

We look forward to reopening our doors in January 2021! Our Academy students will return to blended online and in-person training, and our regular Youth Circus classes will restart from 4th January onwards.

Our Academy students finished this calendar year on a positive note with some fantastic streamed performances, more of which we hope to broadcast in the new year.

We have made the decision not to run Adult Classes straight away in January 2021 as our Kingswood site remains in Tier 3, and we wish to be extra vigilant following the festive rule relaxation period. We hope to restart this programme in some form very shortly, and will update our website accordingly.

Update: 26 November 2020

During Tier 3 restrictions, Circomedia’s Academy will continue to operate as normal. Our public class programme (Adult & Youth classes) and public events will be on hold until further notice.

Update: 1 November 2020

During the national lockdown from 5 November – 2 December 2020, Circomedia’s Academy will continue – this includes all BTEC, FDA, BA, MA and Vocational classes.

All public classes, shows, and events have been paused or postponed.

Adult Circus classes and Youth Circus classes will resume in January 2021, restrictions allowing – all bookers will be contacted in advance.

Update: 18 September 2020

Adult and Youth Circus Classes

We are really excited to announce the phased return of our Adult Classes and Youth Circus public programme from 21 September 2020. We have worked extensively over the summer to reimagine how our venue can offer circus classes in a safe and Covid secure way. This has meant changes to both the classes we offer and how they are run, and it’s important for us to be clear and transparent about how we will now be running the space and what changes you can expect to see.

Both our Youth and Adult Class student numbers have been reduced, and the classes that we offer have also been scaled back to ensure we can run them safely. Our Youth Circus is following guidance from OOSS (Out Of School Settings) and NYA (National Youth Agency), and our Adult Classes will be abiding by the ‘Rule of 6’, with a tutor being included in the 6.

Each week the following classes will be running:

Portland Square
9 Youth Circus Classes
6 Adult Classes

3 Youth Circus Classes
6 Adult Classes

Unfortunately due to the current situation and our need for a phased return, we are currently unable to offer the following:

Drop-In Training Sessions
Adult Taster Sessions
Youth Circus Taster Sessions
Beginners’ Aerial Classes
Family Workshops
Parent & Toddler Classes
No Weekend Classes until at least November

How Will Equipment Be Shared?
The only equipment that will be shared between different areas of our schools are the wipeable safety mats and roll mats, and the wipeable trapezes and aerial hoops.

The Youth Circus, Adult Classes, Higher Education courses, and BTEC will all have their own independent supply of equipment for their students.

Monitoring and Tracking
As practiced with our Summer Youth Circus Camp we will be carefully monitoring, rotating, and quarantining our equipment when needed. Students will be working in bubble groups within classes that will remain the same week after week so we can continue to accurately trace who has been in contact with whom.

Additionally parents, carers, and friends will no longer be allowed to enter the premises while Youth and Adult students are attending a class unless given authorisation beforehand.

Additional Cleaning
Finally, as can be expected we will be frequently cleaning touch points, toilets, and communal areas in our studios before, during, and after any classes. This is in addition to the general cleaning of the equipment and mats. To aid with this, class duration has also been reduced across all public classes to allow for cleaning to take place between one group leaving, and another entering.

We hope that this information has helped to answer any questions or concerns you may have had about our public classes starting back. If you would like to read a more detailed breakdown of our policies and procedures you can find our Youth Circus policies here, and our Adult Class policies here. We’re really excited to be welcoming you back to our studios.

If you have any questions about our public classes programme, please let us know at classes@circomedia.com.

Hires & Events

Large scale hires have come to a halt this year given the circumstances; however, this has not stopped us holding some special supper events throughout Autumn. We will be diversifying the hires offer and have some exciting plans for regular supper events and an outdoor bar for Spring/Summer 2021. The events will be carefully planned so that all necessary safety requirements will be met to make sure people can relax have a good time in a safe setting. Find out more about upcoming events and hire.


The academic year has officially begun and we want to assure our community that the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, and the quality of the education we provide in these exceptional circumstances remains our utmost priority.

We have been working hard to assess and evaluate our resources, and feel confident in our ability to offer a safe learning environment, in line with government guidance and sector- wide consultation to date. We are committed to proactively review and adapt our regulations and practice throughout the year. This means that we can do our utmost to deliver the best possible courses that conditions allow.

Although the courses may look and feel a little different, as we head into the Autumn term, as always, our main focus is to create a safe and inclusive space where our students can discover their physical, emotional and creative potential and unlock the transformative possibilities of circus.

Update: 26 August 2020

Circomedia is now planning the gradual reopening of its sites and activities from September 2020 onwards. You can read about our plans for the Academy below (statement from 17 June 2020).

Our public Adult & Youth Circus classes programmes are also due to start in September 2020. We are currently finalising details, and there will be changes to our timetable and to our normal class processes – a public update will be released as soon as possible. Regular bookers will be contacted directly via email.

Following the success of our Summer Youth Circus Camp 2020 where we delivered two weeks of Covid-secure, socially distanced circus activities for 120 children, we are confident in our plan to restart safe and engaging public classes in line with current Government guidance.

Update: Statement issued 17 June 2020

At CIRCOMEDIA we believe in creating transformational experiences that change the way people view and experience circus. Covid-19 and physical distancing have challenged us all to teach, learn and present contemporary circus and physical theatre in new ways. Our staff and students, across all of our formal and informal courses, have risen to that challenge and shown energy and imagination in continuing to innovate and create in a virtual environment throughout the summer term.

We are now planning for the start of the next academic year. In September we aim to re-open both our Kingswood and Portland Square sites. Teaching will be a combination of virtual and in-person, with the balance between the two being adjusted according to government and NHS guidance on physical distancing and our own reviews of our practice.

We are, of course, very aware of the physical and social nature of our artform and will make every effort to ensure that there is as much practical, hands-on learning and access to equipment as possible. We will be working hard to ensure that this is as safe as possible, in consultation with staff and students. The timetable will be revised to accommodate smaller groups and fewer changes of studio, as well as sessions delivered with digital technologies. We will all have to acknowledge that the pattern over the next year will be different, and we have to seize the opportunity to explore new approaches of blended learning.

Performance is intrinsic to everything we do. Until it is safe to re-open our Portland Square venue for audiences, we will continue to find ways of presenting work digitally or at small scale.  As physical distancing is lifted, we will work towards reinstating our programme of student and professional performances in full.

The safety and well-being of all students and staff is our priority. We will be taking all relevant measures to maintain hygiene and will work throughout the summer to ensure that both our buildings are well prepared for the return in September. Subject to the government guidance, and our own risk assessments we anticipate that some youth circus and other informal classes will also be able to start at the same time as the diplomas and degrees. Across all areas of our activity, we are working closely with the wider circus and performance sector to explore innovative ways for delivery, research and performance. 

We will be undertaking a major block of more detailed planning from now to mid-July, including consultation with students, and will publish more details shortly after this. We are confident that the contributions of our passionate and skilled staff will ensure that the next academic year will be a rewarding and stimulating one for all associated with CIRCOMEDIA.


PREVIOUS UPDATE 4pm 4th May 2020

Like many arts organisations, Circomedia has adapted its normal output and working methods significantly in line with the current UK lockdown and government advice. Circomedia’s priority is first and foremost the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors, and as a result our buildings continue to be closed for the foreseeable future. However, we continue to run many elements of our contemporary circus output in a reimagined, digitally-driven manner, and we are delighted to still be connecting with our community in many ways.

The response we have received from the Circomedia community has been phenomenal. From supportive messages to donating leftover class fees and even setting up regular monthly donations, our students, visitors and supporters are all generously helping to secure the future of Circomedia.

Like many small arts charities, Circomedia has lost many streams of income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We are so grateful for the support shown to us already, but we will be heavily reliant on donations more than ever in the coming months. If you can support Circomedia in any small way please consider visiting our donations page. You can also email info@circomedia.com if you would like to discuss other donation options.

You can see a summary of what’s happening with our Academy, Shows programme, Adult & Youth Circus Classes, and Hires below.

Circomedia Academy

  • Our BTEC, FdA, BA and MA courses continue to run online. With the tremendous efforts of our course leaders, tutors and support staff we are currently delivering a near-full timetable of online classes and tutorials.
  • Students have full support with their continued studies in order to complete the academic year, and assessments have been reimagined digitally in a variety of ways.
  • Students are busy working on their (now virtual) end-of-year performance projects – we hope to showcase some of these publicly in the near future.
  • We hope to provide the opportunity to present these performances in person, once lockdown has lifted, to public audiences once again.
  • Our next round of FdA auditions is also being held online, and we continue to accept applications for September 2020 onwards.
  • Students and staff are working very hard to adapt to these very challenging circumstances and we are seeing some very inventive approaches to teaching, learning, creating & performing circus in isolation. Watch this space…

Circomedia Shows Programme

  • All upcoming performance have been cancelled for the remainder of the Spring 2020 season.
  • All refunds have now been processed as requested – please email boxoffice@circomedia.com with any queries.
  • For performances in September 2020 onwards, decisions will be made in the summer following ongoing reviews of the lockdown situation.
  • Stay engaged with our social media feeds for retrospectives on our shows, and the occassional opportunity to watch content online!

Circomedia Youth Circus & Adult Classes

  • We hope to restart our public Youth & Adult classes programme this Autumn. In line with current Government guidance we are confident that we can offer safe and rewarding classes for our students. We’re still finalising details, so at the moment we can’t offer more information but there may be changes to our normal programme.
  • If you’re a regular booker, we’ll get in touch via email with everything you need to know about classes restarting – please check your inboxes regularly.
  • We’ll let our previous bookers know via email when we have more news about upcoming classes. Anyone who opted to keep their tickets for future use will have priority booking.
  • If you’re new to Circomedia, we’ll be publishing full information on how our classes will run, and how to book a space or join a waiting list, within the next few weeks. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates.
  • In the meantime, thanks so much for your patience – we are a small team and our capacity is considerably reduced at the moment, so we’re slower than normal responding to individual queries. We hope to welcome you to Circomedia in the near future!


Youth Circus Home Edition

  • As soon as lockdown started, we were delighted to launch Youth Circus Home Edition – a regular series of tutorials and activities for children to do safely at home in the absence of classes. Our tutors created loads of content before they were furloughed, so we are now releasing 9 videos a week – follow our social media feeds for new releases, or check out our Home Edition page here.
  • As most of our tutors are furloughed, we don’t currently have the capacity to produce tailored online resources for our Adult Class participants. However, many of our Youth Circus Home Edition videos are perfect for all ages, so we recommend checking these out to keep strong and fit at home!

Hires & Private Events

  • While our buildings remain closed, we are unable to hire our spaces or host private events.
  • However, you can still make enquiries by emailing events@circomedia.com. Please be aware that replies may take a little longer than usual.

We’re still here for you

We’re still here if you need us! The majority of our core staff team are working remotely and can be contacted via email or Facebook as normal – you can find full info on our Contact page or use the following email addresses:

Supporting Circomedia

As you may know, Circomedia is a registered charity with a small core team and limited resources. Like many small arts charities, the current crisis is impacting heavily on our resources. We are asking all members of our community to consider donating to us via our website, or to donate all or some of their existing bookings back to Circomedia, in order to support us as we work through this unprecedented situation.

We appreciate that not everybody will be in a position to assist us in this way, but anything you feel you can offer is gratefully received. Your donations will go towards ensuring we can support our staff, keep our buildings running and continue to serve our community now and in the future.

You can donate online here.

We have already had a heartwarming response from many of you – we cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support at a time when it is needed most. Please do stay engaged – and contact us if you need to – and we will continue to offer as much as we possibly can to help everybody through this situation.

Best wishes,
The Circomedia Team

Friday 20 September 2019
South Wing Studio, Circomedia Kingswood, BS15 8DB

To launch the new book, Contemporary Circus (Routledge) there will be a talk and panel discussion with two of the book’s editors: Professor Patrick Leroux, Concordia University, Montreal and Jon Burtt, Macquarie University, Australia. They will be joined by Firenze Guidi, director at No Fit State and Charlotte Mooney, Co-director of Ockham’s Razor.

Please book your free place below.

Festival season is almost over but don’t worry, we have a full season of shows for you to look forward to. Doing what we do best, we continue to bring CIRCUS, DANCE, THEATRE & FAMILY SHOWS to the heart of Bristol. As ever, we’re giving you early birds to make savings with discounted prices available on a range of shows.

This season we are exciting to be hosting a programme of shows in collaboration with Bristol Circus City, the biennial Circus festival celebrating innovative, contemporary circus from across the globe!

See the full list of shows here >>

Saturday 15 June 2019
St Pauls Church, Portland Square, BS2 8SJ

Well, what a year it’s been. Stressful at times, I think you’ll agree, and bloody hard work, but also amazing and full of incredible moments none of us will ever forget. Plus we didn’t have to close the school because of a scabies outbreak, hurray! That alone is worthy of a party.

To celebrate the end of the year we’d like to lay on a bit of a do for you all, students and staff alike. There’ll be dancing, nibbles and a graduation ceremony to say farewell to those leaving us.

Put on your gladrags and dancing shoes and join us at Portland Square on Saturday 15th June, 8pm. Tickets are £10 for students, guest teachers and plus ones.

We regret to inform you that due to the poor weather conditions in Bristol we are forced to cancel tomorrow’s Open Day (Saturday 2nd February). Conditions around the Kingswood Estate are potentially dangerous and the site managers have taken the decision to keep the entire site closed all weekend.

Our sincerest apologies to everyone who booked on to the day, we will reschedule the event for another time in the future.

If you have any questions please contact Jade Trendall at jadet@circomedia.com or call us on 0117 947 7288.


Jade Trendall will be at the site at 10.30am tomorrow morning to meet with anyone who has already made the trip to Bristol. We’re aware some peope will have travelled in advance and we don’t want your journey to be waste.  Please note this won’t be a full bells and whistles Open Day but Jade can show you around the facilities and answer your questions.

Privacy Policy

Circomedia is committed to protecting your personal information and being transparent about what information we hold on you. We use your personal data to provide our services to you. In particular, we will use the information we hold about you to:

  • Provide educational and support services to our students and staff
  • Provide commercial activities to our customers and hirers
  • Advertise and promote the services we offer
  • Publish newsletters and maintain alumni relations
  • Undertake research and fundraising
  • Manage our accounts and legal records
  • Use CCTV to protect our premises

It allows us to develop a better understanding of you and in turn provide you with relevant and timely information about the work that we do – both on stage and off stage. As a charity, it also helps us engage with potential donors and supporters.

When we talk about data and personal data in this policy, we mean personal data which identify you or which could be used to identify you such as your name and contact details. It might also be your academic record or your booking details for shows and classes. It may also include information about how you use our website and mobile applications.

We have described how we collect, store and use your data in this Privacy Policy. There are steps you can take to control what we do with your data and this policy will explain your rights and the actions you can take. Under current legislation we are not obliged to employ a Data Protection Officer however, we have internal policies and procedures to govern the way we respond to your data requests and any changes to your preferences regarding the way we use your personal data.

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact us at info@circomedia.com or you can write to us at Circomedia, Kingswood Foundation, Britannia Road, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 8DB.

Download the full privacy policy

There is still time to apply for one of Circomedia’s full time courses. Please email us at admissions@circomedia.com with any questions about applications or auditions.

Foundation Degree

Some places have recently become available on our Foundation Degree in Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre. Applications are submitted via UCAS clearing here. Once we have received your application you will be contacted and asked to submit a video audition piece.

Vocational course

The Professional Diploma is a privately-funded, unaccredited equivalent of the Foundation Degree. It is ideal for people who don’t want (or need) a formal qualification and just want to develop practical skills. No essays, just lots of training! It’s cheaper than the FDA however you can’t apply for a Student Loan. Applications are submitted directly through our website.


To apply for the world’s first MA in Directing Circus you will need to submit an application through UCAS, same as above. Information and guidance is available on our website here.

At an Open Day you will get a chance to experience what it’s like to train at Circomedia. There will be a presentation about the course from the Course Leader and you’ll be able ask all the questions you can think of. You’ll also take part in workshops, led by the staff who’ll teach you on the course, and meet current students. Open Days end with a Q&A and presentations from students so you can find out what Circomedia life is really like.

To book a place please email admissions@circomedia.com

“I like that the course focuses on creativity, it seems like a nurturing environment.”

FDA Open Day attendee November 2019

The diversity in education received at Circomedia is reflected in the various career paths taken by our graduates. Some will go on to become world class performers, whilst others will eschew the spotlight in favour of working as directors, producers or designers. Circomedia graduates have worked alongside circus and theatre companies both big and small, and others have set up their own. Inspired by the education they received, some graduates have become teachers themselves, helping to inspire the next generation of practitioners.

Whatever the direction taken, Circomedia is proud of all its graduates. The names below are just a few of the many people who spent time at Circomedia now enjoying creative and fulfilling careers in the arts.

Ockham’s Razor

Ockham’s Razor was formed in 2004 by Alex Harvey, Charlotte Mooney and Tina Koch, all of whom met whilst studying at Circomedia. Just over a decade later, the company has several critically acclaimed productions to its name and produces some of the most visually stunning and emotionally resonant circus theatre anywhere in the world.

What makes Ockham’s Razor unique is their integration of physical theatre with aerial and acrobatics performed using original apparatus and equipment. Rather than paint the circus performer as a superhuman character who can achieve the impossible, Ockham’s Razor draw on what is real and human, telling stories about vulnerability, trust and reliance. They were the first British company to be funded by the Jeunes Talents Cirque and in 2007 they premiered their first full evening programme at the London International Mime Festival to sell-out audiences. Then years since their debut, Ockham’s Razor has built an international reputation for innovative, arresting and accessible theatre.

Alex Harvey

Before coming to Circomedia, Alex had studied singing and fine art at university. Once he decided to give circus a go he specialised in aerial and physical theatre. When not designing the custom-build apparatus for which Ockham’s Razor is renowned, he is a consultant for equipment design and creative rigging for other companies who want to do something different to the norm. Alex is currently performing in Tipping Point, one of Ockham’s Razor’s most celebrated shows, and helping to devise new work.

Charlotte Mooney

Charlotte initially trained as a dancer. Whilst studying English Literature at Sussex University she discovered a passion for theatre which brought her to Circomedia. Since forming Ockham’s Razor Charlotte has devised, directed and performed in their work. She has also found time to work with companies such as Improbable, Amici Dance Theatre and the English National Opera. Charlotte is a highly respected and experienced workshop facilitator and teacher and we are immensely proud to have her as one of the guest teachers on our MA course.

A few months ago Charlotte was kind enough to sit down with a couple of our BTEC students and talk about her time at Circomedia. You can watch the interview on our YouTube channel here.

Tina Koch

Tina studied Cultural Science and Aesthetic Communication at the Hildesheim University in Germany. She specialised in live art and visual theatre which inspired her to coem to Circomedia and train in acrobalance and aerial. Tina has extensive experience teaching circus and physical theatre all over Europe and is Ockham’s Razor’s Head of Education and International Relations. Her directing work for other companies included big ensemble productions for the National Centre for Circus Arts and Stefano Di Renzo’s one-man shows On My Way and Hold On.

Green Eyed Zero

Both Rachel and Sebastien trained at Circomedia before setting up Green Eyed Zero in 2006, a company specialising in circus, physical theatre and digital media, recognised as “one of the most challenging and innovative young companies around” (Gareth Lloyd Roberts, Wales Millennium Centre). The company toured at the National Theatre, the Lowry and Dartington Arts and have been artists in residence at Circomedia and The Merlin Theatre, Frome.

Green Eyed Zero have developed three shows: In The Shadow of Picture Frames (2008); Folie à Deux (2011) and A Show About Choice (2014). Their projects have been supported by the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts Scheme and Folie à Deux was heavily supported by the Lowry and their Studio Theatre. Rachel and Sebastien both teach at Circomedia, you can read about them and our other members of staff on the teachers page.

Shana Kennedy

When Shana began learning circus on her own, in the mid-1990s in suburban America, there was no opportunity to do tightwire or trapeze. Juggling was the only thing that was accessible to her. When she first tried these other disciplines at Circomedia in 1995 it was like a whole new world opened up; she fell in love with the mental and physical challenges. She’d never considered herself an athlete so to be able to do a pull-up, an impossible task just a few years before, was incredibly empowering and she never forgot it. It was that sense of empowerment, and what that meant to her, that inspired Shana to found the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, which has become one of the largest recreational circus schools in America.

Before founding the school, Shana worked for over ten years as a trapeze and tightwire artist, performing and teaching all around the US. Just last year, following the success of the Philadelphia School, Shana opened Circadium, Amercia’s first three-year, accredited higher education programme for circus. Bim Mason, Circomedia’s Creative Director and co-founder, remains a mentor to Shana as she’s modeled Circadium partly after Circomedia in the way its teachings combine physical theatre with circus. In a bizarre twist of fate, Circadium is also housed inside an old church!

Tom Wainwright

Tom is a writer and performer based in Bristol. His first play, Muscle, developed at Residence, received a national tour from Hull Truck Theatre in association with Bristol Old Vic. Between 2008 and 2010 he developed a multi-media solo show entitled Pedestrian (co-commissioned and produced by Theatre Bristol and Bristol Old Vic) which went on to be a sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010, touring nationally throughout 2011 to critical acclaim.

As an actor Tom has worked for Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory, Theatre Alibi, Bodies In Flight, BBC1 and Radio 4 and has performed with and managed international street show The Big Heads.

Matilda Leyser

Matilda studied English literature at King’s College London. In 1998 she then studied at Circomedia, specialising in physical theatre with aerial silks. For ten years she collaborated as an aerialist and actress with theatre, dance and circus companies on diverse productions including The Bird (Mamaloucos, National Theatre); Destination and Romeo and Juliet (Volcano Theatre); Elemental, Rope, and An Evening with Dracula (Company F/Z); Sister Sister (Boilerhouse); The Miserly Knight (Glyndebourne Opera); Pericles (Shakespeare’s Globe); and Egg Dances, Passage and Ascending Fields (Rosemary Lee). She also devised and performed her own work as a solo artist. Her full-length solo show – Line, Point, Plane – was commissioned by the London International Mime Festival and the Royal Opera House, and toured nationally and internationally from 2006 to 2007.

In 2008 Matilda decided to give up aerial work and come down to earth. She retrained firstly at The Drama Centre London and then at Goddard College, Vermont, on the MFA in Creative Writing. She is in the midst of writing her first novel.

2008 was also the year she began working with Improbable and has performed with the company in a number of their shows: Panic; Satyagraha and The Still. She now works as an Associate Director with the company. In 2012 Matilda became and mother and two years later founded ‘Mothers who Make’, a peer support group for mothers and artists of every ilk which has rapidly grown into a national network, running in arts venues across the whole of the UK. In 2016 she directed Me, Mother a show about how circus performers navigate motherhood, commissioned by The Roundhouse.

Catherine Boot

Cat trained in European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College and subsequently worked as an actor for nine years before coming to Circomedia (2011) to learn about integrating circus and physical theatre as a director. Alongside teaching at Circomedia across both the BTEC and degree programmes, Cat is the Artistic Director of Can’t Sit Still. Their latest show, Plink and Boo, a show for young audiences about gender stereotyping in children, has just been given a grant by the Arts Council which will enable Cat and the company to further develop it after a series of successful previews last summer and take the show on tour around the UK later this year.

Cat is also a freelance director and workshop facilitator and has worked with the Roundhouse, PanGottic Circus-Theatre, Hubbub Theatre and Travelling Light.

We interviewed Catherine to find out more about life with and beyond Circomedia.

What did studying with Circomedia mean to you – i.e. how did it help you develop as a performer?

Circomedia was instrumental in the development of my career. I had already been working as an actor for nine years when I joined the course, and I came because I wanted to learn how to create my own work, so I wasn’t always at the mercy of casting directors. Being at Circomedia gave me the time to reflect on my practice, and come to the new understanding that whilst I loved the creative process, I didn’t want to stand on stage night after night anymore – I wanted to be in the rehearsal room making work. This isn’t the path that most students follow here, but once I’d reached this realisation, the staff supported me and gave me as much opportunity as possible to explore directing, teaching and producing within circus, physical theatre and outdoor arts, which is what I do for a living now.

When did you set up Can’t Sit Still?

Can’t Sit Still was set up by myself and two friends whilst we were in the 2nd year – we just wanted to make work together beyond Circomedia. We had an idea for a show, and put together an Arts Council funding application. We found out that we’d been awarded the grant on our very last day at Circomedia.

What kind of work do you endeavour to create with the company? What are your aims for your creative work?

A lot of Can’t Sit Still’s work has been for children and family audiences, although I never want to limit the work we make. I feel if something is good then it’s for everyone, really. We primarily work with physical theatre and circus, but we also integrate a lot of puppetry into our shows, as well as original and sometimes live music. Most of all, I always say that I want the shows we make to start a conversation over the breakfast table the next day. I want families to take what they saw on stage or in the street and feel moved enough by it to spend time talking about it together, so that each member of that family can develop their opinions by learning from the other. And then go and do something about the issues it raised.

How did you find the transition from studying at Circomedia to teaching a new generation of performers?

Initially I found it quite easy – I had such recent knowledge of what it felt like to be a student and the challenges of the course, and this was huge advantage during my first year of teaching. Now I’m 4 years on and the course is developing all the time, so I definitely have less first hand knowledge of what the students go through, but I also have a lot more experience as a teacher and professional circus theatre maker, so I hope that I can contribute to the course in different ways.

What would your message to be to someone considering studying with us?

Be open to whatever the course will hold, and take it one day at a time. Throw yourself into everything with all your might. Whether you stay for three months or three years, it could be the best time of your life and will almost certainly be over before you know it.

If you want to study circus with physical theatre and develop as a new kind of circus performer then look no further than Circomedia and our full-time courses delivered in partnership with Bath Spa University and City of Bristol College. Based in the vibrant city of Bristol, famous for its thriving performance industry and links to the global circus and theatre community, Circomedia has been at the forefront of contemporary circus education for over 30 years. One might even say Circomedia helped invent contemporary circus education.

It is one of our core educational beliefs that minds and personalities need developing just as much as physical skills. That is why we nurture our students to take an imaginative and forward-thinking approach to training. We aim to give students not just what they need for the existing artistic environment but to equip them to create their own blend of circus and theatre for the future. We encourage all our students across all courses to devise work that challenges and inspires, in the hope they will discover the fullness of their physical, emotional and creative potential.

Download the Prospectus 2021/2022 now.

The Academy pages on our website contain full information about each course as well as photos and video to show you what studying at Circomedia really looks and feels like. We have produced a Circomedia Prospectus 2021/2022 that distills this into a small sized PDF document for access offline and sharing with others. Perhaps you work at a school or college and want to include a copy in your library. To download a copy of our prospectus please click on the link above.

This is Ashley’s Event.

To apply for a place on the Vocational Course beginning September 2021, please complete the form below.

If you have any questions, or you would like to find out about our Open Days please email admissions@circomedia.com

We will contact you by email no later than one week after your submission to confirm we have received your application. If you do not hear back within that time please contact admissions@circomedia.com.  Successful applicants will then be invited to an audition.

Circomedia FDA Graduate Show

Thu 7 & Fri 8 June, 7:30pm

Ensemble comes from the Middle French word ensemblée, which means “together, at the same time.”  Our graduating students come together for two nights to show the results of devising and creating in a group with these mini performances, exploring contemporary trends in circus performance and integrating their physical skills with variety and daring.

Applications are now open for September 2023.

To apply for a place on the MA course please apply directly through Bath Spa University.

Apply now

The course lasts for 12 months and fees are £7,715. Student loans of up to £10,000 are available.We can only accept students onto the MA from within the UK or that have British Citizenship. If you are  international student (including the EU) and you are interested in our course please get in touch first to see if we are able to accept your application.

If you have any questions about applying for the MA, please email admissions@circomedia.com

British Citizens

Please bear in mind that at this stage, we can only accept students from within the UK, or that have British Citizenship. Therefore, if you have dual citizenship with a country in the UK, you can apply for this course.

EU Citizens

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept EU students onto our courses at the moment, because of Brexit. EU students are now considered international students, and we do not currently have the relevant VISA status to accept international applicants.

However, we can accept those who are eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status. So, if you were settled in the UK before midnight on the 31st January 2020, we can accept you. See https://www.gov.uk/settledstatus-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settledstatus for further details.

Irish Citizens

The government has clarified that Irish citizens are exempt from the UK’s points-based immigration system, and there will be no change to the arrangements for the Common Travel Area. Therefore, if you are an Irish National, you may still apply to Circomedia.

Applications for our BTEC 2021/22 course are now open. Anyone with an interest in joining the country’s only two year BTEC course in circus and theatre this September should apply by the 14th June 2021. It is important to note that this course is fully funded by the government for learners under the age of 19 years. If you are ages 16 – 18 then don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of our fully-funded BTEC course. If you have any queries or want to find out more about the course or funding, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our admissions team at admissions@circomedia.com

We will contact you by email no later than one week after your submission to confirm we have received your application. If you do not hear back within that time please contact us.

Applications will be reviewed by the Course Leader, after which you will receive an email letting you know if you’ve been accepted to attend an audition.

Virtual Auditions

We are now accepting applications for our virtual auditions for entry in September 2021. Once you have submitted your application you should receive a confirmation within a week that it has been received, and we will keep in touch with you about the auditions process. You can read more about our auditions here.

In 2018 we celebrated 250 years of modern circus.  As part of this celebration we were awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund to research in to Bristol’s own circus heritage.  Working with members of our youth circus, students from Orchard School and a group of volunteer researchers we uncovered Bristol’s own longstanding history ofcircus.   Supported by our partners; Myers-Insole Local Learning, the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, Bristol Archives and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery an exhibition was created celebrating the themes of risk and risqué, invention and re-invention as well as our past and future.  The exhibition visited Bristol Museum, Circomedia, The Theatre Collection, Creative Youth Network, Bristol Cathedral and Bristol Central Library and is now available online.

Circus 250 Oral Histories

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 1 

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 2

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 3

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 4

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 5

Circus 250 Museum Exhibition Screen 6

You can also hear the fantastic oral histories collected and curated by Tot Foster.

If you would like to host the exhibition or to organise a talk from one of our researchers – contact katew@circomedia.com.

More information about the project can be found on http://www.locallearning.org.uk/circus250/

Apply to join the MA

To apply for the MA in Directing Circus you need to go directly through Bath Spa University.

Apply now

The course lasts for 12 months and fees are £6600. Student loans of up to £10,000 are available. At this stage we can only accept students on the MA from within the EU.

If you have any questions about applying for the MA, please email admissions@circomedia.com

Apply now for the BA in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre (1 Year Top-up)

Applications for our BA (Hons) 2021/22 course are now open. To apply for a place on the BA in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre Course beginning September 2021, please apply directly through UCAS and use the course code H3N2. Please note our BA (Hons) is a 1 year top-up for students who have already completed a 2 year foundation degree at Circomedia or other institution.

Our Institution code is B20, campus code H.

In order to apply for the BA, you need to have 240 credits from a UK university in a relevant subject – be that circus, performing arts or theatre. If the first stage of your application is successful, you will then be invited to audition.

If you don’t meet the qualification criteria, don’t panic! You can get in touch with admissions@circomedia.com to discuss your qualifications or Accredited Prior Learning.

Please bear in mind that at this stage, we can only accept BA students from within the EU. If you live outside the EU you can take a look at our Professional Diploma.

Apply now

If you have any questions about the BA and whether you are suitable for the course, please contact admissions@circomedia.com

How to Apply

Applications for our FDA 2021/22 course are now open. To apply for a place on the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre Course beginning September 2021, please apply directly through UCAS and use the course code W900.

Our Institution code is B20, campus code H. Your application will then be sent to our partners Bath Spa University who will forward it on to us.

The UCAS deadline does not apply to us as a smaller Conservatoire. Submit your application via UCAS and someone will be in touch. If you need any help please contact admissions@circomedia.com

Our team will then assess your application. If we think you are suitable for the course we will invite you to an audition.

We urge you to get your applications in as soon as possible as places are offered throughout the audition process. The sooner we can invite you to audition, the better. Take a look at our Auditions page to find out more about what a Circomedia audition entails.

Want to see if Circomedia is right for you? Book a place on our next Open Day by emailing admissions@circomedia.com


Guide to writing the perfect application


We want to do everything we can to help you put together a fantastic application to join us at Circomedia. That’s why we’ve designed this handy guide to help you craft the perfect personal statement and prepare for your audition.

Although the UCAS deadline of 15th January 2019 doesn’t apply to us, we urge you to apply as soon as possible. That way we can get you booked into an audition in February or May. As we offer places on a first-come-first-served basis, this increased your chances of getting onto the course.

The Admin

The application process for entry onto our courses is split into two. First you must complete a written application.

  • For the Foundation Degree, this is done through UCAS.
  • For our Vocational Course, you just apply directly on our website

If your written application is successful you’ll be invited for a two-day audition at our Kingswood site. Students who live outside of the UK are strongly encouraged to visit Circomedia for their interview and audition however it is possible to submit a video audition if travel is difficult.

Writing Your Personal Statement

The most important thing to do when writing your personal statement is to tailor it to us. We want to see your interest in circus and performance and Circomedia’s approach to it shine though. UCAS only allows you to upload one personal statement so if you’re applying to other universities (for similar or different courses) then please email us a Circomedia-specific statement to admissions@circomedia.com

We would like to know:

  • Why you are interested in circus and physical theatre.
  • What your experience is – be it formal learning or extra-curricular.
  • Why you want to do our course over any other.
  • What you believe Circomedia can offer you as a performer…and what you can offer us.
  • Where you think our course will take you.
  • You might also want to tell us about shows you’ve seen that have inspired you.

The Audition

Dates for this year’s auditions are posted on our page here. The audition allows us to meet you virtually and get an idea of your fitness level and performance style. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get a feel for Circomedia and what you can expect from our courses.

We hope we will back to physical auditions next year, for those interested in entering the course in September 2022. The audition day can include any or all of the following:

  • Warm up.
  • Games session.
  • Conditioning / fitness test.
  • Acro session.
  • Aerial session.
  • Juggling session.
  • Creative Movement session.
  • Performance session.
  • Q&A.
  • Individual audition piece (3mins max).

Thank you for reading this, we hope it’s been helpful. If you have any questions please contact us on admissions@circomedia.com

FRI 16 Feb – SAT 24 Feb, £17/£12

EVENING – 7.30pm

MATINEES SAT 17, THU 22, SAT 24 – 2.30pm

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays and one of his most controversial.

Generally considered as a broad farce that leaves a bad taste in the mouth, it is in fact one of the darkest and most complex of all the plays written in England in the 1590s, with an extraordinary structure quite unlike almost any other play of the period.

It is about a group of people watching a play. A play that becomes increasingly relevant to their own lives the longer they watch it, becoming more deeply involved scene by scene in ways they could not possibly have imagined.

They are to learn about the strangeness and unpredictability of love, the mystery of living purely in the moment and the magical, transformative nature of theatre itself.

In the extraordinary setting of St Paul’s Church, Circomedia, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School aim to bring you a production that will radically alter your view in this subversive but enlightening masterpiece by the young Shakespeare.

Tickets are available online from www.oldvic.ac.uk or by ringing their boxoffice on 0117 973 3955

Purchase a fantastic and unique gift – the perfect present for established circus fanatics or new recruits!

What Can I Use A Gift Voucher For?

Circomedia Gift Vouchers can be used for any of our public Adult or Youth Circus classes, our professional circus, dance and theatre shows, or any other Circomedia-hosted event.

Covid-19 Impact
We plan to be back as soon as possible with a varied and engaging programme. Some classes and shows are already onsale – follow the links below for more information.

In the event of a booked event being cancelled or rearranged, any bookings made with gift vouchers can be refunded to credit for use at a later date.

We have also extended our warranty to 18 months for a limited time only, to give you plenty of time to use your voucher!

Adult & Youth Circus Classes

Over 30 regular circus classes for adults and children, as well as tasters and one-off sessions.

Disciplines include static trapeze, aerial hoop, rope, silks, flying trapeze and acrobatics. We also host visiting artists who deliver a variety of workshops.

Professional Performances

Our professional programme showcases some of the best touring companies with a mix of national and international work.

We host over 30 shows a year in our spectacular St Paul’s Church venue!

What amount should I buy?

You can buy a voucher for any amount of money, but here are some guide prices if you have something specific in mind:

Circus Tasters
(1 – 2 hours)

Youth: £7
Adult: £15
Family: £30

Flying Trapeze
(1 – 2.5 hours)

Taster: £15
Youth: £25
Adult: £35

Adult Circus Classes
(4-7 weeks)

£40 – £85 per block

Holiday Youth Camps (Easter & Summer)

£140 – £220 approx. per week

(Various lengths)

Approx. £10 – £20 per ticket

Any voucher can be redeemed for any class, performance or event. Prices are subject to change and these are for guidance only.

How will my voucher be delivered?

You will be sent a stylish physical voucher to the address you provide. You’ll also receive an email code in case you need your voucher quickly. All the recipient needs to do is enter the code at checkout to pay in full or part! All vouchers state the expiry date and cannot be extended.

Please be mindful of Royal Mail delays due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Vouchers are sent out every Friday.

If you’d like your voucher sent elsewhere, or have any other queries, email boxoffice@circomedia.com.