The Elephant in the Room

Deliciously retro and absolutely original, Cirque Le Roux delves into a smoky monochrome world of circus arts, Hollywood film noir and physical theatre

Welcome to the luxurious estate of Miss Betty, in autumn 1937. Caught between her desperate husband, a cheerful best-man, two fumbling butlers and a lustful admirer, our hostess slips away from her wedding reception into a secluded smoking lounge. Cigars, whisky, slapstick and remarkable acrobatics culminate into a turbulent amorous intrigue. Hidden amongst the darkly decadent ambiance, past the quarrels and false pretenses, is an elephant in the room that’s taking up more and more space…

Cirque Le Roux serves up a dose of wit and eccentricity, seamlessly blending storytelling with high-level acrobatics. The six artists perfect perilous circus numbers and explore the mysteries of love, friendship and the obvious truths we choose to ignore.


Artistic Direction: Cirque Le Roux
Staging by: Charlotte Saliou
Authors: Lolita Costet, Charlotte Saliou, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas
Interpreters: Naël Jammal, Craig Gadd, Lina Romero, Jack McGarr, Antonio Terrones, Kritonas Anastasopoulos
Original Music: Alexandra Stréliski
Costume Creation: Cirque Le Roux & Clarisse Baudinière
Lighting Design: Cirque Le Roux
Sound Design: Cirque Le Roux
Set Design: Cirque Le Roux
Hero Image: Olivier Gachen
Photos: Eva Trifft, Francesca Torracchi, Olivier Gachen

About the Company

Founded in 2014, Cirque Le Roux is a French circus company based in Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. Imbued with a cinematic, meticulously detailed aesthetic, its high-voltage performances are rich in tragicomic, dreamlike atmospheres.

Cirque Le Roux attempts to create captivating, original worlds that are suffused with personal significance and pull from a wide variety of artistic influences. They base their research on the diversity and variety of the human condition. The artist’s rigorous circus training allows them to push physical boundaries and use their acrobatic disciplines as a motor to further a narrative dramaturgy. Their works come to life in touching theatrical gems, evoking emotion and questioning our connection and trust in ourselves and others. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that over the past four years has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.

In 2015 the show played to sold-out houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for a Total Theatre Award. Some 50,000 spectators attended the performances at Bobino Paris, and the company received the Étoile du Parisien award in 2017.

The originality and virtuosity of the piece led to invitations to popular television shows such as the Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, Quotidien with Yann Barthès, the Molières awards ceremony at Folies Bergères and Michel Drucker’s Vivement Dimanche. The cinematic nature of “The Elephant in the Room” also led to broadcasts of the piece on national networks like TV5 Monde, Canal +, and several international broadcasts.

In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating a new work, another extraordinary “cinema-circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence at all levels (acting, acrobatic technique, combinations of disciplines, set design, costumes, etc.) in a show that can be viewed as a follow-up to the first piece, yet set some 35 years later.

In the Press

Ed Fest Mag

Beautifully written, and performed with vigour and fantastical showmanship

Circus Diaries

The most complete fusion of narrative theatre and top flight circus skills ever to grace our shores

Three Weeks

Sexy, tender and heartbreaking

The Stage

An intelligently conceived, stylish crowdpleaser that also pushes theatrical boundaries

Le Monde

Inventive and absolutely original

Le Figaro

Circus of the highest level