Circus performer Debbie Roach
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Circus act with disabled performers reclaiming the 'freak show'

"Freak shows" used to be a popular pastime in Victorian times where people with "unusual" or "different" bodies would be shown off and exploited for the benefit of an audience.

But a circus act featuring disabled artists is hoping to reclaim the term.

Cirque Bijou, a circus company based in Bristol, includes disabled and non-disabled artists, and their current project Extraordinary Bodies invites the audience to think about different kinds of bodies and how they look.

Featuring live music and a large aerial set, it is a perfect setting for people with disabilities, says performer Jamie Beddall.

"Circus can be done by anybody and interesting bodies make more interesting circus," he says.

Video journalist: Kate Monaghan

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  • 04 Sep 2015
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