REVIEW: Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams, Underbelly Festival

Bold and vibrant, Circus Abyssinia offers plenty of thrills in its mesmerising show at the Underbelly Festival. 


Having performed in front of Royalty at the Royal Variety performance and last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Circus Abyssinia makes its well deserved debut at the Underbelly Festival – providing plenty of joy and thrills for the audience from beginning to end.

From a hypnotic juggling act that is filled with grace to backbreaking balancing acts performed by some extremely flexible female performers, Ethiopian Dreams has plenty to keep the audience entertained and mesmerised for the entire hour.

Beaming with smiles throughout, it is clear that all of the performers really enjoy what they do and providing extraordinary entertainment that makes audiences gasp. They really engage with the audience as well, encouraging them to feel involved – not for ay self absorbed reasons for them  but because they seem to genuinely want people to have a good time and it really shines through without ever seeming over the top or forced.

While the men showcase their strength and playfulness with acrobatics , the extraordinary female performers highlight their flexibility by putting their bodies into some extraordinary shapes that lead to some gasps from the audience, but beautifully sleek and elegant to watch and gives a whole new meaning to ‘bending over backwards’.

The performance also beautifully incorporates dance into it, helped by some pulsating Ethiopian dance beats that makes the atmosphere electrifying as well as adding additional joy and spirit to the show.

It has to be said that perhaps at times some of the pacing goes out of the show between acts that could be made stronger as at times there is a bit of waiting around. However, this is in no way affects the high energy of the show that is consistently good.

The audience’s response to the show is enthusiastic and it is a testament to just how good Circus Abyssinia are and how the potential that they possess – who knows what they will do next!

Overall, Ethiopian Dreams is a vibrant and mesmerising show that shows the depth of trust and bond between the performers (no safety harnesses here). Circus might be 250 years old but with circus acts like this it is a genre of performance that still feels fresh and exciting.

By Emma Clarendon 

Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams continues to perform at the Underbelly Festival until the 20th May. For more information visit:

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: