2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the modern circus, and throughout most of April CircusFest is happening in London, which ‘…celebrates the future of circus: daring and diverse, punky and poetic’. The Round House is hosting most of the events, along with other partner venues, for a list of the spectacular events on show see here.
One of the partner venues is the V & A, who’s Friday Lates late special on 27th of April has a circus theme, where you can take part in workshops, see rarely seen items from the V & A archives and watch live performances.
The V & A holds a large Theatre and Performance Collection and archive, and as well as hosting CircusFest Friday Late, they also have The V & A Performance Festival, opening on April 20th, with a theme of Censorship and Circus. One of the events includes a performance by The Bookshop Band who’s music explores censored literature from the V & A archive among other forbidden authors, which takes place in the V & A Library.
To commemorate the circus theme, Aldgate Library has a display of some of its circus themed books, which includes a great pop up book – ‘International Circus’ – a reproduction of the antique book by Lothar Meggendorfer. I have tried to find where there is a copy of the original 1887 version, and a quick look on MetCat (which can search libraries world over) reveals Yale, Illinois and California hold copies!
You can also find a copy of The Circus 1870 – 1950 by Noel Daniel, published by Taschen in our Special Collections Oversize – which at 46 cms is one of our largest books in the collections!
London Met Libraries also subscribes to Nick Hearn Books, a vast collection of plays, screenplays and theatre books – a great resource for our Theatre and Performance students, as well as other related courses. Log in with your university username and password through the library catalogue.