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Victorian Summer Circus

New for 2017, take part in a shipshape shindig as Bristol-based Cirque Bijou bring a Victorian Summer Circus to Brunel’s SS Great Britain from 22 July – 3 September.

Inspired by the iconic ship’s fascinating voyages, families can enjoy a brand-new show, three times a day, on the dockside. Based on the ‘Crossing the Line’ initiation ceremonies performed by sailors to mark the first time one of their own crossed the equator, the spectacle will feature impressive juggling, hula hoop and acrobatics.

Kids and adults alike can also join in the seafaring skulduggery and learn new circus skills with free, drop-in workshops on Brunel Square every day from 12pm – 4pm.

For those who are brave enough to try feats of derring-do, become a Victorian sailor and climb the rigging with Go Aloft! In addition to the Victorian Summer Circus, families can explore one of the most important ships in the world, meet Mr. Brunel and get up close to items from the archive.

Cirque Bijou are known for their programmes across Bristol including performances at Bristol Harbour Festival and at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. The company are working with emerging artists from the city’s own circus training centre to create the new show.

Tickets to Brunel’s SS Great Britain costs £14 per adult, £8 per child (5-17 years old) and under 4’s go free. Tickets are valid for unlimited return visits for 12 months. Go Aloft! costs £10 plus the price of admission. Circus workshops are free on Brunel Square.


For more information, interview requests, images or quotes please contact:

Dominic Rowe

PR & Communications Manager: 0117 926 0680 ext. 219



Laura Hesketh

PR & Communications Assistant: 0117 926 0680 ext. 410



Editor’s notes

About Brunel’s SS Great Britain:

  1. Brunel’s SS Great Britain is the world’s first great ocean liner and the most innovative steam ship of her time. Launched in 1843, this iron-hulled steamship revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering, reliability and speed. Today, Brunel’s SS Great Britain is Bristol’s no.1 visitor attraction (as voted by the public on Trip Advisor) and home to the Brunel Institute, housing one of the world’s finest maritime and Brunel collections.
  2. Please note, for brand continuity, the attraction is ‘Brunel’s SS Great Britain’, the ship herself is the ‘SS Great Britain’, the charity which manages and maintains the ship is the ‘SS Great Britain Trust’ and the trading branch of the charity is ‘SS Great Britain Trading Ltd.’
  3. Brunel’s SS Great Britain has won over 30 major awards covering heritage, tourism, conservation, access, education, venue hire and customer service; including:

3* in Michelin Guide to Great Britain, 2012

Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, 2010

England’s Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, 2007

UK Museum of the Year 2006