Home » London Theatre News » The Circulate Consortium presents Cirque Bijou and Nutkhut’s Source

The Circulate Consortium presents Cirque Bijou and Nutkhut’s Source

SourceHaving been on tour in London since July, there are now only two venues to go. Performed outdoors on streets across the capital by circus, dance, theatre and cabaret artists, Source is an extraordinary story that brings to life an underground world of six forgotten rivers of London. London tour 22nd July to 5th October 2014

As London faces up to significant population growth and the need to update the aging sewer system created by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, this tale of underground artists rediscovers the summer of 1858, the year of the ‘Big Stink’, when London’s rivers filled with sewage, forcing the House of Commons to stop sitting because of the smell. Using S.O.U.R.C.E, the Scientific Orienteering Universal River Charting Engine, six performers representing six waterways in outer London boroughs tell stories and historic moments connecting Victorian London to pioneering philanthropists, social reformers, artists, inventors and engineers from a diverse social spectrum.

The company and vehicle has been in residency at each of the venues for five days to engage with the community, rehearse, and run workshops, culminating in a final outdoor performance of circus, street theatre and live music from the Summer into the Autumn of 2014. As with previous venues, the company will work with members of the local community, drama students, and young people at both of the remaining venues, introducing participants to a variety of outdoor performance techniques ready to take part in a bespoke performance on the final day of residency. Each show will contain six lead characters, one to represent each area, and will be led in each location by the character representing the area.

Gangs of tunnellers buried with the rivers have been living underground for over a hundred years, living off stories and music that have seeped and dripped through the earth. As cracks appear in the ground, rivers start to explode into the overground world carrying away the carefully collected stories and music of London’s past and present. The ancient tunnellers are forced to travel into the light to enlist the help of the overgrounders to plug the leaks of music and story.

Source has been commissioned by Circulate Consortium, a partnership of six arts centres based in outer London boroughs. As part of the London 2012 cultural programme the six venues produced seasons of live performance outdoors for the first time.  Their first year featured Spin Cycle, a musical on the move, created by Emergency Exit Arts. Cirque Bijou create and produce bold, visually arresting, highly physical circus. They have developed programmes to support young and emerging artists, and last year launched Extraordinary Bodies with partners Diverse City – the UK’s only professional integrated circus company, Extraordinary Bodies.

Nutkhut was formed in 2003 by leading British Asian artists Simmy Gupta and Ajay Chhabra. They create work mixing performance, dance, film, participation and a distinctly British comedic sensibility and eccentricity.

S.O.U.R.C.E, the water divining machine around which the show is based, was originally designed and built as a Wind Gathering Vessel representing the West of England in the South West’s largest Cultural Olympiad project, Battle for the Winds.

27th September – 2.00pm
Bell Square, Hounslow High Street, London TW3 3HH
In residency from 23rd in association with Watermans, Hounslow

5 October 3.00pm
Market Square, Deptford, London SE8 4AG
In residency from 1st in association with The Albany, Deptford

www.circulate.london | @cirquebijou | www.cirquebijou.co.uk | @nutkhutuk | ww.nutkhut.co.uk
Running Time: 45 minutes | Suitable for all ages

Company Information: Produced by Circulate Consortium Directed by Billy Alwen (Cirque Bijou) and Ajay Chhabra (Nutkhut)

Costumes by Arts University Bournemouth, Costume With Performance Design BA (hons) – Harriet Cox and Fiona Rigler, with support from Sarah Dicks


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

    View all posts
Scroll to Top