Casting Call

Upswing, in partnership with Chamäleon Berlin, is looking for a number of brilliant circus performers (from a range of disciplines) to join a new major project. A collaboration between Upswing’s Artistic Director Vicki Dela Amedume, top comedy writer Athena Kugblenu and leading UK Grime artist Afrikan Boy.

The show will draw from wider research and conversations but also from the experiences of the artists and creatives involved, so we are seeking artists who identify as Black or from a Global Majority* background. All the roles are for people of any gender identity or age.

The project will have a development period across 2023 with a full rehearsal period from January, 2024 and residencies and touring from February, 2024 – launching at the Chamäleon Theatre in Berlin, Germany. All performers joining the project need to be available for all dates (see below).

About The Show

Combining the thrill of contemporary circus with irreverent humour, the show will be a good night out while focusing on the complexity of identity, the difficulty we have talking about race, the slippery nature of fairness and why it can be so hard to find common ground.

Thematically this work will tread challenging territory around the way we talk about race, ethnicity and gender. We will put in place structures to support all creatives to navigate the creation process safely. Ultimately our aspiration is to make a piece of work that holds themes with respect but also has a lightness of touch.



9 & 10 July 2023
Held in person at Chamäleon Berlin

Training/Pre-Production Prep
June – December 2023
Individual and ensemble training time to be negotiated with members of the team around their existing commitments.

Rehearsal Period
January 2024
4-week creation period followed by a production/tech week in the UK
8 January 2024 – 11 February 2024

Performance Residency – Chamäleon Theater (Berlin, Germany)
24 weeks – 12 February 2024 – 30 July 2024

Premiering in Berlin at the Chamäleon.

Further UK Touring (tbc)
August – December 2024
Edinburgh Fringe Festival (tbc) and wider UK touring.


Who we’re looking for:

We are seeking Circus Artists who are willing to join us in this creation, who have experience of working in a team, are playful and interested in the themes of the work. Performers with a high level in at least one of the following disciplines below and be interested to explore working with text:

  • Tumbling / Tricking / Floor based acrobatics / Acro-dance
  • Handstands
  • Duo/group acrobatics
  • Juggling and manipulation
  • Any static aerial discipline (silks, trapeze, straps, flying pole)
  • Chinese pole
  • Pole dance

How to Apply

Closing date to apply: 26 June 2023
Auditions for European based artists will be held in person at the Chamäleon Theater (Berlin) on July 9 and 10, 2023.

Applicants should submit:

  • a detailed CV including information about which languages you are proficient in.
  • a videolink for a 3 – 5 minute sequence, preferably without edits.
  • A short introductory statement about why you are interested in the project.
  • Links to show reels can also be included.

Please send applications to
Closing date 26 June, 2023.

Successful applicants will be provided with further information about the audition itself but should expect to present up to five minutes of their primary discipline. Unfortunately, feedback cannot be offered to unsuccessful applicants. Shortlisted applicants will need to cover their own travel to the casting.

*What do we mean by ‘Global Majority’? Global Majority is a collective term that refers to people of African, Caribbean, South Asian, East Asian, West Asian, Central Asian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern and North African diaspora/heritage (Aka those who make up 80% of the worlds population). We’ve embraced the term, not to eradicate specific ethnic and cultural identities, but to connect and amplify their voices, and de-centre whiteness as the ‘default’.

The project is supported by the PRS Foundation, the Cockayne Foundation, Arts Council England and is part of the Horizon Showcase 2023 residency selection.