Circus Comes Home


Our partnership with New Vic has been going strong for over 14 years. We first collaborated in 2009 on Bryony Lavery’s The Wicked Lady, and went on to create Astley’s Astounding Adventures together, as well as other projects.

Based in Newscastle-under-Lyme, The New Vic theatre sits at the heart of the town where modern day circus was invented, by Philip Astley.

Our connection with the New Vic has grown from a desire to find creative ways to push the boundaries of circus and theatre. We created this new programme of work together, to allow us to tell even more new stories in bold, ambitious and extraordinary ways.

What greater way to do this than by bringing Astley’s Astounding Adventures back to life. Upswing’s Artistic Director Vicki Dela Amedume worked with The Artistic Director of the New Vic Theresa Heskins to reinvigorate their bold and colourful tale of the founding father of circus. As if that wasn’t enough, this powerhouse creative team will also be working to bring The Princess and the Pea – a modern rendition of a classic fairytale to the Unicorn’s stage in 2024. Tickets are available now. Click the links below for more details:

a circus workshop leader teaches children some circus moves

Alongside this, our free, immersive outdoor circus event Circus Flavours toured public spaces in Newscastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent throughout summer 2023.

Our Circus Flavours artists also ran two circus skills summer schools, focusing on providing activities and opportunities to community members and young people in care.

Circus Comes Homes is an annual programme of work, and we’ll be keeping you updated with the new programme for 2024.

This programme of work is made possible as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding


Subscribe to the Upswing mailing list and we'll keep you in the loop with what's on and how you can get involved.

Upswing will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.
See our privacy policy here.