Cork: Announcing Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival 20-29 Sept 2019!

Announcing the third edition of


 Friday 20 – Sunday 29 September 2019

 Various venues, Cork City and County


Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival, presented by the Circus Factory Cork, returns for its third instalment Friday 20 to Sunday 29 September, bringing with it new and exciting Circus acts, Street Performances, Aerial arts, Comedy, and workshops, for all ages.

The theme of the 2019 edition is Exquisite Corpse; a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled to create a new image, text or form.  Festivals are a time for artists to come together, share, create and collaborate, and Pitch’d Circus Arts festival will see multiple new forms, connections, and ideas, come to life in this exciting eclectic 10 day programme

Festival action kicks off on Friday 20 September, Culture Night, where Dare Devil acts will take over Skiddy’s Plaza, North Main St, a Teen Circus Disco takes to the streets, followed by Inferno Fire Performers who light up the Coal Quay with their exhilarating show, Fire Storm, from 10pm.

Headliners include Lucy Hopkins, who will bring her award winning contemporary clown show, Le Foulard, to St Peters, North Main Street, on Saturday 21, as part of an afternoon of free circus and contemporary clown shows suitable for all ages.

Le Foulard has been shown over 160 times across 6 different countries, in English and French versions, to enthusiastic response from audiences and critics alike, winning Prague Fringe Creative Award, Bedfringe Pick of the Fest, and Best Theatre Performer Adelaide Fringe.

Other main events include:

Darragh McLoughlin’s third feature performance, Stick Man – an encounter between Man, Stick and TV. Man and Stick engage in various improbable feats of balance, which transform the body into a variety of different images. This work is a circus piece on the surface and a tragedy at its core.

Break out the popcorn for the festival movie night with Bathroom – The Movie, a feature length dystopian sci-fi lo-fi circus comedy movie, all shot in a real bathroom in East Belfast, directed by and featuring Ken Fanning and Angelique Ross.

And, the pièce de résistance, featuring a top-class line-up of Irish and international performers, come and experience high level acts in Contemporary Circus, plus just-as much-fun comedy, music, burlesque, and more, at the annual Pitch’d Gala Cabaret on Saturday 28 September.

Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival also aims to promote access to Circus training for all ages and levels, with workshops for youth and adults, including a Youth Workshop at St Peter’s on the morning of Saturday 21. There will be Adult Circus tasters at Circus Factory training centre on the afternoon of Sunday 22, plus get silly with Lucy Hopkins, who will be teaching a 4-hour Clown Workshop earlier on the Sunday morning.

Circus Masterclasses will also feature during the week, with further intensives available with Lucy Hopkins, and have your world turned upside down in the Aerial Masterclasses, with special guests Simon Wood, Kathleen Doherty, Alexandre Duarte!

The programme also features two special commissioned shows at Circus Factory on Centre Park Road:

Time or Place – taking place on the eve of Saturday 22 – is a site-specific performance, developed as part of a collaborative process with a selection of circus, physical theatre, and music performers. Creative training and engagement will be led by Elaine McCague and Jonah McGreevy, from the award-winning modern Circus company, Loosysmokes, music direction by Caoilian Sherlock (The Shaker Hymn) and Elaine Howley (The Altered Hours), with artistic direction by Festival Director, Cormac Mohally (Lords of Strut).

Pitch’d festival action will be closed out with a Circus Factory community show, Exquisite Corpse, devised by Circus Factory members, and directed by Noelle O Regan on Sunday 29 September.

Over the course of the festival, and in true collaborative spirit, Pitch’d will also take their antics on the road to bring street performance acts to Macroom Food Festival on Saturday 28 September, and the following day, the crew will be clowning around with Douglas Street Autumn Festival to showcase some of Ireland’s finest and upcoming talented street performers, with the hilarious Von Drip Duo, Síolta Collective, and for the first time this year, Circus Factory younger trainees will be giving a Mini Circus Parade, showing off all the super skills they learn at their weekly circus classes throughout the year.

Galway Community Circus / Wire Crossed will also be set up on Douglas Street with tutors in tightwire, where people can try out the art of funambulism (tightwire walking with balancing pole). Wires Crossed is a four-year European project on circus arts and well-being, focusing on funambulism with ten circus school partners from across Europe, and is one of the anchor projects of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, produced by Galway Community Circus, which aims to train some 400 people in the art of funambulism.

Festival Director of comedy duo, Lords of Strut fame, Cormac Mohally said:

I have had the pleasure of performing around the world with Lords of Strut, and I aspire to bring a bit of that weird and wonderful world I get to be part of to the streets of Cork during Pitch’d. From “weird clowns” to high skill circus performers, with free and ticketed shows, it’s got something for everyone. But my favourite thing about the festival is the coming together of our circus community, from far and wide, having a huge party to celebrate our diversity and making new friends along the way. Hope to see you all there.”

For full programme details and booking visit:

You can also follow all the action on


Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival and Circus Factory Cork acknowledge the generous support of Arts Council Ireland for their continued support of Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival.

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