Waldo's Circus of Magic & Terror: A story of love and defiance in Nazi Germany at The Lowry

A powerful story of love, resistance, and the human spirit set in 1933 Germany, blending theatre, circus, and music in a spectacular production.

By Manchester's Finest | 21 March 2023

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Image: Paul Blakemore

Image: Paul Blakemore

Unique theatrical experience Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror is coming to The Lowry from Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 April. Set in 1933 Germany, the play tells the story of Waldo and his extraordinary troupe of acrobats and clowns, as they navigate the dark and turbulent times of the Nazis. Through love, courage, and resistance, the characters of Waldo’s Circus reveal their stories amidst the glamour of the big top.

Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror. Image: Paul Blakemore

The story, based on an original idea by Hattie Naylor and co-written by Hattie Naylor and Jamie Beddard, features an original score by Charles Hazlewood. It is informed by historical research and the experiences of real performers, and the production is a large-scale collaboration between D/deaf, disabled, and non-disabled artists and creators. Abbie Purvis stars as Krista, with Lawrence Swaddle as Gerhard.

Presented by Extraordinary Bodies, Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror premieres at Bristol Old Vic, with a national press night on 16 March. The production acknowledges the Holocaust and the millions of Jewish victims, as well as other groups targeted for persecution and murder. The company is committed to counteracting antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that can lead to group-targeted violence.

The show promises a bold mix of music styles, featuring live, multi-instrumentalists on stage. The production combines the painted-on glamour, skilful risk-taking, and fierce loyalty of circus life with the notion that ‘the show must go on’ as its narrative pillars.

Image: Paul Blakemore

As the world grapples with the need for stories of hope and resilience, Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror is set to provide an unforgettable and thought-provoking experience for theatre-goers in Manchester – a compelling production that explores the best and worst of humanity.

For more information and tickets, visit www.thelowry.com.

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