Performances from Upswing and Motionhouse will turn Guildhall Yard into a celebration of female circus talent on 2 and 3 August

An all-female cast of talented acrobats, circus performers, gymnasts and dancers will transform the Square Mile’s Guildhall Yard into a colourful display of power and strength from 6 – 10pm on 2 and 3 August.

Tying in with the 250th anniversary of the circus and a plethora of anniversaries celebrating female achievements in 2018, the free evenings of circus entertainment are part of the City of London Corporation’s ‘Women: Work and Power’ seasonWomen: Work and Power is a six-month programme of 70 events celebrating the contributions of women within politics, the arts, sport, and science.

During the shows on 2 and 3 August, acrobats from leading contemporary circus company Upswing will soar through the skies in red shoes in an explosion of aerial gymnastics. Scaling towering Chinese poles and combining acrobatics with dance, the performers will illustrate an adaptation of ‘The Red Shoes’ by Hans Christian Andersen, which sees two girls being led astray by a pair of red shoes in an enchanted forest.

Joining them will be an all-female cast of world-class performers from dance-circus company Motionhouse, whose exciting and energetic fusion of dance and acrobatics takes place inside a giant moving cage. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem ‘The Panther’, this edge-of-your-seat performance explores themes of captivity and being held back from your true potential. Trapped, disorientated and shaken, the performers use their skill and instinct to survive in an emotionally charged environment.

Acclaimed comedy, cabaret and circus performer, Miss Abigail Collins, will also take to the stage. Using a soundtrack of powerful female pop, Collins will serve drinks on her head while doing the splits and jump through hula hoops during an interactive performance in Guildhall’s historic Yard.

Delicious cocktails named after prominent women including Margarita Atwood (for Canadian poet Margaret Atwood) and Pankhurst Pina Colada (for political activist Emmeline Pankhurst) will be on sale throughout the event. Braver attendees can also test their own performance skills by attending a free lunch-time circus workshop which will be held from 12.30-1.30pm on both dates.