Circus Aotearoa coming to town

The Rope Warrior, Michael Armstrong, of Christchurch, dazzles in mid-air, while Nick Name, of...
The Rope Warrior, Michael Armstrong, of Christchurch, dazzles in mid-air, while Nick Name, of Auckland, bases the rope. Photo supplied.
A modern New Zealand circus is coming to Queenstown in early February, with tertiary educated performers and no animals on show.

Circus Aotearoa announced this week it will raise the big top on Warren Park, Gorge Rd, and entertain Wakatipu audiences from Friday, February 4 to Sunday, February 6.

A cast of eight New Zealand and Australian performers play multiple characters in 15 acts. The line-up for the 90-minute summer spectacular includes aerial acrobatics, swing trapeze, juggling, contortionists, "red-nose and contemporary" clowning and more.

The Raglan-based directors and troupe are venturing to the South Island for the first time on their third tour.

Co-director Paddy Gordon told the Queenstown Times it was a very modern circus, with the cast qualified in the diploma in circus arts, at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

The days were over of travelling circuses providing the only opportunity for rural communities to see exotic animals, and circuses had to move with the times.

"It's like a theatre version of what our view of the traditional circus is like," Mr Gordon said.

"It's more vaudeville, with banter from the ringmaster and the audience gets to interact with the acts. A little bit of magic and a lot of laughs."

Circus Aotearoa opens in Queenstown, next Friday, at 7.30pm, with performances on Saturday, February 5, at 11am and 7.30pm, and Sunday, February 6, at 2pm.

Tickets start from $17 for adults and from $12 for children, depending on age and seating option. Three-year-olds and under are free.

Tickets are available on site an hour before the show. The box office is cash only.

Group and family discounts are available.



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