Jacksons Lane takes circus to Highgate streets for first time at Fair in the Square

A popular arts centre is taking the circus to the streets for the first time to wow the thousands who will gather for Highgate’s Fair in the Square.

Jacksons Lane arts venue in Archway Road, Highgate, is renowned for its circus arts shows but has never attempted to put on an outdoors spectacle with so many performers before.

Juggling, acrobatics and aerial tricks will take place everywhere visitors look on June 13 at the festival in Pond Square and South Grove.

It is the first time Jacksons Lane has partnered with the annual fair, the highlight of Highgate’s social calendar.

Ashlie Nelson, marketing manager at Jacksons Lane, said: “There is a shock factor involved when people are thrown around. That feeling will be enhanced when the performances are done out in the open.

“Performing in such a big and crowded space is obviously very different than performing on a stage, but lots have street performance backgrounds, so they already have routines developed.”

Although the arts centre has taken its shows outdoors before, it has never tried to bring so many of its acts onto public streets.

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Five different circus acts will perform at the fair: juggler and comedian Jon Udry, all-women acrobatic group Les Femmes Circus, juggler Frederike, acrobatic pair Nikki and JD, and Silver Lining, a seven-performer troupe made up of acrobats, jugglers and aerial artists.

Mr Udry, 26, has been juggling for 16 years and been a professional for seven.

He said: “I’m not nervous at all to perform out in the open. I’ve been performing since I was 11 and I’ve worked a mix of events to where nothing is unusual anymore.

“There are always lots of surprises when I perform, but they aren’t surprising. All gigs are different, and it’s more about connecting with the audience.”

Silver Linings has been performing together for nearly three years.

All members completed circus degrees between 2011 and 2013 and have been performing professionally since.

Member Niamh said: “Our only enemy when performing outdoors is rain, so hopefully the sun will stay on our side and we’ll have nothing to worry about.”

Veronica Day, chairwoman of the fair’s committee, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing all the happy and smiling faces of children watching each of the performances.”