Seven hopeful artists but only one winner. Who will be the “New Face of Circus”?

In Showdown, seven acrobats compete night after night in an extraordinary casting show in order to be chosen as the “New Face of the Circus”. Led by a charismatic host, the audience is invited to join in and choose the winner of the coveted prize. As the game progresses, we learn more and more about the individual and shared experiences of the contestants, seeing connections and conflicts emerge as they gradually begin to question the game….

Powerful, relatable and simply a good night out, Showdown brings narrative contemporary circus to the Chamäleon stage. Standout acrobatics combine with entertaining satire through spoken word elements penned by rising comedy star Athena Kugblenu, all set to a captivating soundtrack of UK hip hop, grime and Afrobeat by London-based musician Afrikan Boy.

The first collaboration between award-winning British company Upswing and the Chamäleon, Showdown will celebrate its world premiere in Berlin in February 2024. A playful exploration of power and competition that sweeps us along in the process.

Age Recommendation: 12+
Language: The show contains spoken word in German and English

Content note: Potentially sensitive topics like racism are discussed.
Lighting Note: Stroboscopic lighting effects are used during the course of the production, which may pose an increased health risk to those at risk of epilepsy.
Audio Note: Due to our modern sound system, the volume can be higher. If you are sensitive to the volume, our team will be happy to provide you with ear protection.


A Co-Production by Upswing & Chamäleon Berlin
Directed by Vicki Dela Amedume
Written by Athena Kugblenu
Music by Afrikan Boy
Photos by Manuel Harlan

Supported by:

In the Press

The Stage (UK)

Telling a story through contemporary circus is a feat attempted by many, but achieved by regrettably few. Upswing make it look easy

The Guardian (UK)

(Upswing) demonstrate the real possibilities that emerge when circus, dance and theatre meet and meld

Number 9 reviews about Catch Me

Their connection was electric and (…) allowed an effortless performance

About the Company

Upswing is a leading UK-based, multi-award winning contemporary circus company telling new stories in extraordinary ways.

Founded by Vicki Dela Amedume in 2006, the company brings together highly talented acrobats from a wide range of backgrounds and positions and strongly advocates for greater representation and diversity in circus. With each production, they strive for authenticity in the representation of diverse experiences, expand the possibilities of circus as an art form and use it to shape the world we want to live in.

Their recent work includes outdoor spectacle Ancient Futures, co-produced with Unlimited Theatre and the award-winning films Common Ground and Circus Flavours on Screen as well as internationally acclaimed family favourites The Ramshackle House and Bedtime Stories.

The company is also active outside of theaters and festivals, sometimes staging its circus performances in nursing homes, on rooftops, or in public libraries. Amedume was awarded the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2022.

Showdown is the first Co-Production between Upswing and the Chamäleon and will celebrate its world premiere on our stage in February 2024.


  • Journal

    Video Introduction: A look in The Mirror

  • Accessability

    Your visit to the Chamäleon

    Der bestuhlte Theatersaal ohne Gäste.
  • About us

    Hackesche Höfe

  • Behind the scenes

    Vilhelmiina Sinervo: Residency Trip through Germany