Friday Late

The original contemporary late night event. Friday Late celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings.

Friday Late is FREE and drop in
Last Friday in every month (except May & December)

All events are free and places are designated on a first-come, first-served basis, unless stated otherwise. Filming and photography will take place throughout the evening.

Please note, if the Museum reaches capacity we will allow access on a one-in, one-out basis.


Circus – Past, Present & Future - Friday 27 April

Circus – Past, Present & Future - Friday 27 April

Roll up, roll up! To mark 250 years since London was first dazzled by the circus, join us this Friday Late to experience acrobatics and artistry from the Big Top and beyond. Watch live performances, explore rarely seen archives from the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collection, and hear from those making an impression on and off the highwire as they push their bodies and their artforms to new limits.

A collaboration between Roundhouse CircusFest and the Victoria and Albert Museum

Disco Spritz
Cromwell Road, Grand Entrance
Dalston Superstore’s regular shimmy Disco Spritz has become a fixture in East London’s queer weeknight party scene. For this special occasion, residents Dance Armstrong and Chaka Khan’t are joined in the circus ring by clowns in waiting Super Drama for an evening of italo gymnastics, high wire funk, and cosmic disco madness.
@DiscoSpritz | @SuperDrama | @chakakhantdj

Street Circus Collective: Throwdown
The Raphael Cartoons, Room 48a
19.45 open-rehearsal, 20.30 performance
The Roundhouse Street Circus Collective brings together bold young artists aged 16-25 with a drive to train, collaborate, produce and present their own work. Throwdown is an energetic in-your-face encounter, bursting with the style and personality of these young circus artists and hip-hop dancers. Directed by Simple Cypher – a new company built through the foundations of hip-hop and circus.
@RoundhouseLDN | @SimpleCypher

Clowning Around
Fashion, Room 40
Is nonsense the only way to make sense of our ever-changing world? Discover the dynamics of clowning in this drop-in open workshop led by clown performer, teacher, director, researcher and writer Jon Davison. Find joy in your own ridiculousness and leave the fear of ridicule behind you.
@londonclownschool |

In the Spotlight: Celebrating Circus
Sculpture 1300 – 1600, Room 25
Talks will begin at 19:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30
Please note talks have a limited capacity. Sign up from 18.30
Join Cathy Haill, Curator of Popular Entertainment in the V&A’s Department of Theatre and Performance for a 15 minute in-focus talk exploring the invention of the circus. From costumes to ceramics, discover how Philip Astley, ‘the father of the modern circus’ transformed an open-air riding school in Lambeth into a worldwide performance sensation.

Walking a Tightrope: Women in Circus
Lecture Theatre, Level 4
The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Women’s roles and visibility in circus has been problematic over its 250 years of history. Today, much of contemporary circus is striving to shine a light on the talents of women and showcase the female body as capable of extraordinary physical feats. Join Molly Nicholson (Circus Producer, Roundhouse), Anna Strickland (Missing Link Productions), Alfa Marks (aerial artist, Extraordinary Bodies), Natalie Reckert (head balancer and circus maker) and Martha Harrison (performer, teacher and researcher) for a discussion on women redefining their disciplines.

Giffords Circus: The Painted Wagon
Paintings, Room 82
The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries
Duration 109 minutes
Join Giffords Circus on a joyful Old West adventure. Featuring acrobatics, stunts, and the antics of Tweedy the Clown, The Painted Wagon is a Wild West extravaganza. Recorded at Chiswick House Ground on 14 July 2016.

Acrojou: Frantic
The John Madejski Garden
18.45, 19.45
Please be advised that water is used during these performances
Love, freedom, blood, sweat and rainstorms: Frantic is an explosive acrobatic exploration of our relentless devotion to busyness, the reality of a running mind and one man’s thirst for escape. Expect spectacular acrobatics, dance and physical theatre choreographed around a wheel. Acrojou is considered one of the UK’s leading circus and street arts companies.
@Acrojou |

Acrojou: Behind the Scenes
The John Madejski Garden
Join Acrojou performer Barney White for a behind-the-scenes talk on the company’s acrobatic performance. From the science of the wheel to the story behind the choreography, this is your chance to get to know how a contemporary circus show is created.
@Acrojou |

Beyond the Big Top: A Glimpse into Circus in the UK
The Blavatnik Hall
What defines contemporary circus in the UK? Through the voices, acts and shows of some of today’s most influential circus artists, this short documentary explores this bold and boundary-pushing art form.

Even When I Fall
Hochhauser Auditorium
Level one, Sackler Centre for arts education
Duration 95 minutes
Even When I Fall tells the story of Nepal's first and only circus – Circus Kathmandu – set up by survivors of child trafficking to Indian circuses. The film harnesses the visual power of circus to give a unique perspective into the complex world of human trafficking. It highlights the beauty of Nepal and tells a vital story of resilience against all odds. Directed by Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon.
@EvenWhenIFall |

Art Studio
Sackler Centre for arts education
Please note this installation has a limited capacity. Time slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis
Experience a 360 degree film installation exploring the life-changing effect of social circus projects in places of adversity. While working as a filmmaker in Palestine, Cambodia and Ethiopia, Remy Archer was inspired by the talent, artistry and social impact of what he saw. Using the latest film and VR technology, this 12 minute film weaves together some of these stories into a visceral tapestry which takes audiences places that would otherwise be inaccessible.
@remy_archer |

Metta Theatre: Open Studio
Residents Studio 1
Sackler Centre for arts education
See how circus theatre is made, up close and personal with V&A Circus Residents Metta Theatre. Experience Metta associate Jason Dupree and aerial artist Suzie Smith developing and rehearsing a five-minute hoop piece. Performances last 5 minutes and take place at regular intervals until 20.30.
@mettatheatre |

Illustration by Ellie Dempsey | @elliedemps

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