Some of the world’s biggest circuses have rolled into Brisbane with acts set to wow audiences.

But they’re not like the traditional Big Tops, today’s modern circus is all about exploring the limits of human movement.

Rebecca Oakley reports.


There are some familiar faces but this circus offers much more than clowning around.

The international sensation, Le Grand Cirque, is the biggest act in town with thirty five performers.

Simon Painter, Artistic Producer, Le Grand Cirque: “They’re the best acts in the world, its very hard to get them all in the same place at the same time.”

The test of human skill and physical strength, rather than ring leaders with lions, seems to be the modern circus trend.

Simon Painter says Australia is a big drawcard for popular international acts that are generally harder to secure.

Simon Painter, Artistic Producer, Le Grand Cirque: “But you say you come to Australia and their eyes light up and they sign up immediately.”

After a gruelling international tour the performers are excited to be here in Brisbane to lower the curtain on the final leg of their show.

Homegrown Natalie Harris is one of those acts.

Natalie Harris, Le Grand Cirque Performer: “I’ve spent most of my life overseas touring, so I love working at home.”

Just down the river Rauli Kosonen and Petri Tuominen of Finnish group Race Horse are performing at QUT Festival Theatre at the Powerhouse in their acrobatic show Petit Mal.

They say circuses have changed because performers have become more imaginative but the essence of circus entertainment remains.

Rauli Kosonen, Race Horse: “Circus is adapting really well in this area it still sticks on its own power of the amazement of what people can do.”

The shows go on throughout September.

Rebecca Oakley, QUT News.