SOME of the world’s best circus companies will roll into Worthing in May with a world premiere to celebrate the 250th anniversary of circus.

Worthing Theatres is launching its third Summer of Circus season with the official world premiere of The Exploded Circus, an all-female contemporary circus production by London-based acrobatic company Mimbre.

The show invites audiences into a moment where an explosion has been frozen in time, the remnants of a circus caught mid-air – with everything from the circus ring, sequins, and fairground horses suspended above the ground.

It uses the scene as an allegory to explore “what we perceive as society, and how we might rebuild it were our world to collapse”.

Featuring aerial feats and visually stunning juggling as well as acrobatics, The Exploded Circus “weaves a story told without words, where six female performer have to come together to seek order in the chaos and create a new normal”.

Circus as an art form was first introduced when Philip Astley, considered to be the “father of circus”, first leapt into show business with his own ring of entertainment near Waterloo in London in 1768. Since then, the genre has developed and evolved into many forms, combining circus tricks with physical theatre and storytelling.

Worthing’s Summer of Circus season launches on May 18 with Mimbre’s show, which runs until May 20, with the main 10-day season starting on June 22 with performances by one of the world’s best juggling troupes. Gandini Juggling present their latest show 8 Songs, a tribute to the mythical landscape of popular music presented as a series of choreographed juggling vignettes set to eight classic rock and roll songs.

From Spain comes Compania Vavel Circus with a high tempo family show called Garbuix on June 23-24. Performed by five women from five countries, the show combines everything from music, shouting, fun, games and even a giant bear in this action-led performance.

In a collaboration between two of the biggest companies in circus and dance, NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse join forces in their new production Block on June 27-28. Their innovative show explores life in the city, its contradictions and challenges. Twenty oversized blocks are deconstructed and reformed to create different cityscapes for the performers to engage with, with daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats.

On June 30, performer Grania Pickard uses puppetry and physical theatre to tell the story of growing up with her disabled autistic brother Sean in He Ain’t Heavy. The audience is shown how he walks, talks and interacts with the world and how his unique take on life has shaped and influenced Grania.

Dizzy O’ Dare close the season with their family fun production The Giant Balloon Show on Sunday July 1. Winner of the International Festival of Fools 2017, this one-man show is set to an 80s soundtrack and is full of high energy, hilarity and, of course, a giant balloon.

Tickets: various prices. Worthing Theatres has a February Early Bird offer, with £10 tickets available to purchase for each production in the season. Multi-Buy tickets to three separate shows across the season cost £30 in total.

Phone 01903 206 206 or visit worthingtheatres.co.uk.

Above: Gandini Juggling

Main picture, top: The Exploded Circus by Mimbre

Below: Compania Vavel Circus

Above: NoFit State

Above: Grania Pickard performs He Ain’t Heavy

Below: The Giant Balloon Show by Dizzy O’Dare