For over 125 years, generations of Hungarians are continually captivated by the spectacular performances at the Capital Circus of Budapest. The latest show at this permanent big top – “Children of Atlantis” – is a modern production of astounding physical feats performed amid streaming water and beams of light, attracting 200,000 audience members within five months (including Oscar winner Penélope Cruz). We explore the sources of this record-breaking success and provide a sneak peek of the next show, beginning in October – a circus version of “Lúdas Matyi”, a classic Hungarian fairy tale.
Established in 1889, and now housed for decades in a colorfully iconic stone building across the street from Széchenyi Bath, the year-round circus of City Park has always attracted huge crowds for extravaganzas of amazing acrobatics, mind-boggling juggling, terrific trapeze artistry, and many other incredible acts. Nonetheless, in recent months the Capital Circus of Budapest is gaining more fans than ever, with every remaining “Children of Atlantis” show now sold out through the end of August.
There are many reasons for this impressive success, including Hungary’s hallowed circus traditions dating back to the 19th century here in Budapest – however, as the world’s circus acts have evolved over the past decades, the Capital Circus of Budapest shows are also keeping up with the times. “Children of Atlantis” is a particularly modern production that is considered to be especially unique, as the show is set amid a multicolored interactive fountain instead of a traditional circus ring, and features tightrope walkers, acrobats, and various other artistes performing within (and even propelled by) the ever-flowing water, all illuminated by a stunning light show.
Naturally, this innovative presentation made a big splash across the Budapest entertainment scene, packing the 1,850 seats of the Capital Circus of Budapest ever since March – and on two occasions, A-list film star Penélope Cruz brought her family to see the show while she was working on a movie in the Magyar metropolis. However, it’s not just the talent of the circus stars and staff that has brought about the success of “Children of Atlantis”; about a year ago, the Capital Circus of Budapest management embarked on a comprehensive development project to refresh and reinterpret their performances through in-depth analysis, brainstorming, and communication with the community, while making sure to honor their historic achievements.
These efforts were the driving force behind “Children of Atlantis”, and as the development project continues, the Capital Circus of Budapest management aims to move into the future with even greater professionalism by establishing a new Central European Centre for Circus Arts in Hungary within the next three years, created to provide additional infrastructural support for their productions and the entire field of contemporary circus artistry.
Looking ahead more immediately, the Capital Circus of Budapest management is already preparing for their next show, which is set to debut on October 1st. The new production is a modern circus-arts interpretation of “Lúdas Matyi” – a beloved Hungarian fairy tale written by Mihály Fazekas in 1804 – and this show will reflect Magyar folk motifs through its spectacular physical feats, costumes, and brilliant backdrops. For more details about the Capital Circus of Budapest – including “Lúdas Matyi” show times and ticket information – log onto their official English website.