The Happy Sideshow

Celebrating the differences and possibilities of the human condition, The Happy Sideshow is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional circus genre of Sideshow.

The four performers of The Happy Sideshow share an interest in pushing the boundaries of human potential and spreading ideas of positive affirmation and tolerance through their performances. With this in mind they conspired to create shows where old and nearly forgotten skills like sword swallowing are mixed with contemporary performance styles, music and aesthetics.

A celebration of the strange and wonderful world of freakshows and carnival midways; their productions are a unique blend of traditional sideshow stunts, genuine street theatre skills, theatrical techniques, and a commitment to pleasure in ensemble performance.

Since its formation in 1999, the company has worked extensively both at home in Australia and internationally, establishing themselves a unique force in the circus, physical theatre and comedic genres.

The company has successfully toured its original production Torture for Fun nationally to venues and festivals including the Sydney Opera House, the Adelaide Fringe, the Australian National Circus, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, The Australian Cabaret Festival and the Livid Music Festivals. Internationally, the group has performed throughout Spain, Germany, Croatia, the UK, Singapore, Sweden and Italy. In 2003 they picked up the jury prize for Best Circus Performance at the Valladolid Festival and Best Street Theatre Performance at Ribadavia.

The group has performed three successful seasons as part of the Sydney Opera House’s studio program, including its new production Three Piece Suit with a Sideshow Lining and a recent collaboration with Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, The Carnival Goes On.