Born out of the fortuitous meeting between three speed-loving consumated artists (Daniela Sousa, Rui Gago e Michel Alex) the Custom Circus is officially founded in 2004. The inspiration for the name and aesthetics of the group comes directly from the 1988 book written by Michel Alex’s The Wheel Saga, (A Saga da Roda, 2019, Editorial Divergência). In it we come to know the nomadic life of a tribe of biker clans living in a post-apocaliptic world, who roam a desolated desert in trailer and truck convoys always accompanied by the everpresent chopper bikes. One of those clans is The Custom Circus, the ones in charge of putting up entertainment shows for the whole tribe to enjoy.
The real-life company lived a sort of nomadic life too, between 1994 and 2004, organizing events and plays for multinational business companies. In 2004 the need arised for a more permanent base, and the Custom Circus, now under its official name, buys the ground of an old army base from the ‘40’s in Barcarena. The Nirvana Studios are born as an alternative cultural centre, housing a thriving indie artist community, and becoming the site for the Custom Café, Custom Circus’ new home base.
At present the company is nearing the mark of the 1000th show, currently performing “Absurdium” which is described as a play centred in a post-apocalyptic aesthetics in the year 2072, within an imaginary society that invites the audience to let themselves be immerged in an absurd world. As always with any Custom Circus show, the action evolves in a 360º panoramic, allowing for the artists’ total freedom in their interaction with the audience, and building the momentum for a totally unexpected ending.
The Custom Circus will be present at Festival Vapor next September, for a free of charge showcase of their work.
By Ana Carrilho
Born in Lisbon, 1974, Ana Carrilho has been a bookworm for long. Her graduation in Social Communication was a natural progression of the love for the written word. She is a natural content creator and in 2018 coordinated the communication department of the Sci-Fi LX project and cooperated in the advertising of the Cascais Games Vault. Crochet artist, Ana Carrilho developed, in 2015, several projects in this area, from craftwork to artistic installations and urban art. She cooperates with the Projecto Foco and Editorial Divergência as the Communications Director.