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The Summer Circus

Our annual Summer Late extravaganza

RA Late

● Fully booked

Saturday 23 July 2016
7 — 11.45pm

This event has now ended

See upcoming ra lates

Part of our

Summer Exhibition 2016

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Join us for ‘The Summer Circus’: a flamboyant and theatrical night of circus-inspired delights, where the surreal world of the Victorian circus meets the RA’s contemporary Summer Exhibition.

Experience the RA’s historic Courtyard like never before as it’s taken over by circus tents, acrobatic displays, fantastical performers and surreal happenings. Explore the Summer Exhibition after-hours as eccentric characters and musicians perform against the backdrop of 1,200 colourful works of art, with street food stalls and cocktail bars open throughout the night.

See programme highlights below:

Live bands and DJs

Ceilidh Liberation Front

London’s most radical and most colourful ceilidh band, CLF combines music, dance, and a generous sprinkling of theatricals to perform ceilidh music as you’re never heard (or seen) before. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Rum Buffalo

A unique blend of surreal swing, vaudeville and experimental hip hop, defined by the band as ‘prog swing hop’.

And at the Victorian circus after-party in the Grand Café …

DJ Kobayashi

This eclectic set comprises swing, gypsy and electro swing as well as live Gypsy Hill remixes, from the latest project to come from DJ Kobayashi and producer Herbert Newbert.

Installations and activities

Glitter showers with the Kaleidoscope Girls

Envisage the realms of the glitterati and step inside the glitter fuelled dressing room of The Kaleidoscope Girls. A journey in their sparkling circus tent will embellish you with wonder - it’s your turn to be lavished in a glitter, sparkle and sequin makeover.

Circus animal print-making with Print Club London

Have a go at screen-printing your very own poster featuring Victorian circus animals with Print Club London

Dark circus drawing salon with Art Macabre

Enter into Art Macabre’s circus sideshow world and sketch a troupe of extraordinary characters. Create portraits of unique circus-styled characters, drawing upon the darker side of sideshow entertainments and celebrating circus stars of the past.

Models include a contortionist, clowns and the Bearded Dame. Capture Tommaso Di Vincenzo’s twisted dynamic poses, the tears of burlesque clown Fifi Croissant and the mischievous spirit of Molly Beth-White, whose poses are inspired by the classic commedia dell‘arte characters of Columbine and Pierrot. Sketch body activist and model Harnaam Kaur, aka the self-styled Bearded Dame, as we celebrate her convention-challenging beauty and pay tribute to the tragic and triumphant tales of historic bearded ladies.

Pompom headdress making with Siobhan Hogan of Shopfloorwhore

Create your own flamboyant pompom headdress from scratch at this drop-in workshop.

Food and drink

Popping Licks

Enjoy homemade ice lollies served from a vintage tricycle

AVM Curiosities

Take your pick from food artist Tasha Marks’ selection of alcoholic, cocktail candy floss.

Plus street food stalls and cocktail bars open all night.

Dress code: vintage circus.

See our Pinterest board for costume inspiration. Prizes for the best dressed guests will be awarded via Instagram, so creative interpretations are encouraged. Check out #RALates on Instagram for photos from our previous Lates.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Saturday 23 July 2016

7 — 11.45pm

Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts

£42 (includes exclusive after-hours entry to the Summer Exhibition and a cocktail) A limited amount of tickets are available to buy on the door