Run Away With The Circus For A Weekend This November

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The colour and flair of the circus comes to town this November as the National Circus Festival of Ireland (NCFI) takes up residency in Tralee once again from November 2nd to 5th, promising a jam-packed weekend filled with amazing homegrown and international talent and entertainment for all ages. Expect world and Irish show premieres, professional masterclasses, workshops for kids and the fantastic Festival Parade which winds its way through the town. View the full programme and purchase tickets from €5-€70 at 

NCFI is the national showcase for contemporary circus and features a different line up each year of top national and international circus performers. A completely unique festival to Ireland, accessible, yet edgy, contemporary and challenging, the festival continues to set the standard for contemporary circus performance in Ireland. It also features acts at the top of their game and this year the programme sees handpicked acts from Ireland, Canada, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and France who are set to thrill, delight and amaze the lucky audiences.

Speaking about the programme, Festival Founder Con Horgan, said: “The National Circus Festival of Ireland has grown from strength to strength since our first outing back in 2001. This year’s festival features incredible performers from across the globe and an astounding programme which includes the world premiere of ‘Scáth’ by Aishling Ní Cheallaigh and Jenny Tufts at Saturday’s Circus Siamsa and eight Irish premieres, including ‘Slips Inside’ by Okidok and ‘Juventud’ by Nicanor De Elia. And not forgetting Sunday’s Festival Parade which puts a smile on everyone’s face. You’ll be spoiled for choice!” 

Highlights from the fun-filled weekend include:


  • Spéirial – A night of aerial arts not to be missed. Hosted by Elysia McMullen, enjoy performances from four aerial artists and four different disciplines in the beautiful surrounds of St John’s Church Ashe Street.. Artists performing are Jenny Tufts/Aerial Hoops, Judenald M. Penders/Dance Trapeze, Sean Mc Ilrath/Rope and Freddy Burrows (Straps). (Friday, 6pm)
  • Slips Inside by Company Okidok – Billy and Piotre have dream bodies, celebrity bodies. Muscular, elegant, skillful, facetious and well aware of all their incredible qualities, they embark on a great demonstration of their talent in its purest form. Expect the cream of acrobatics, the foie gras of mime, an hour of laughter without words. (Friday, 8pm)
  • Circus Siamsa – At the heart of and always a highlight of the festival is Circus Siamsa, a variety show, held each year in Siamsa Tíre theatre. As is the case every year, an entirely new show has been created by Fanzini Productions bringing the stars of contemporary circus, street and variety performance to the stage in Siamsa. It’s a family show but not just for kids! (Saturday, 2pm + 5pm)
  • Stickman by Squarehead Productions – Stickman is a performance which features: a man, a stick and a television. The man balances the stick on various, and sometimes awkward, parts of his body thereby setting himself and the stick in motion. (Saturday, 9pm)
  • Juventud – A performance of dance-juggling based on circus-inspired physicality setting a group of five jugglers to dancing, JUVENTUD sees itself as a progressing demonstration of freely-circulating movement, in which beauty is not looked for in orderly perfection but through a mongrel complexity in which the individual does not cancel out the group – and vice-versa. (Sunday, 4pm)
  • 2023 Festival Parade – starting on Denny Street and making its way through Tralee Town Centre enjoy all the spectacle of the circus at this free event. (Sunday, 3pm)


  • Circus & Juggling Convention and  Aerial & Acrobatics Convention – Two four-day conventions full of intensive and adult workshops. (Both Thursday – Sunday)
  • Experiential Workshop with Duo RossoNeve from Barcelona – This workshop proposes to use the body as the only tool, and contact and trust as the only language. By guiding dynamics, games and challenges, this masterclass will teach and share experiences in order to reinforce self-esteem and empower self-censored capacities. (Thursday 4pm) 
  • Copyleft Masterclass with Nicanor De Elia – Argentinian born Nicanor de Elia is a dancer, circus artist, choreographer and director. This masterclass is a space for research and study for jugglers, dancers and acrobats based on the principles of copyleft and improvisation in groups. (Friday, 2pm)
  • Children’s Circus Workshops – Run away with the circus for a day and learn how to juggle, spin plates, to the hula hoop and throw the Diablo (Saturday + Sunday, 11am + 12pm)
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Paul Micheau
Paul Micheau
Paul is a passionate travel writer and seasoned content creator, with a flair for storytelling. He has developed a keen eye for capturing the essence of places and experiences. Armed with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Management. Paul brings a strategic approach to his work, ensuring that each piece of content he creates resonates with audiences and leaves a lasting impression. Paul is also the founder and head of content for the popular 'IsItWorthIt' channel.

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