Casting announced for UK premiere of Circus Abyssinia: Tulu

Casting has been announced for the UK premiere of Circus Abyssinia: Tulu.

Underbelly Festival has unveiled the company for the brand-new show from Abyssinia group.

Celebrating the true tale of an Ethiopian icon, charting her rise from humble beginnings to become the first African woman to win Olympic gold, Circus Abyssinia: Tulu opens at Earl’s Court on 24 May and runs to 18 June.

Co-founded and produced by Bibi Tesfamariam and Bichu Shimellis, who also directs, the 15-strong troupe will showcase incredible talent in the iconic upside down, purple cow, Udderbelly at Underbelly Festival Earl’s Court.

There is contortion and rollerblading from Etsegenet Ashenafi and Semeret Getachew, Cyr Wheel from Hannah Tina alongside aerial flight from Bezawit Ashagre. Joining them are hoop-divers and Russian swing artists Behaylu Tesfaye, Cherenet Dereje and Dagmawi Fekeru, who perform awe-inspiring stunts with the youngest members of the troupe, Ezera Nigusse and Alemayehu Mulugeta.

Dagmawi also performs Icarian Games with Zenebe Fantu and Betelhem Dejene leads the troupe in stunning displays of hand-vaulting and synchronised acrobatics.

A dazzling display of speed, skill and flight lands in Earl’s Court this spring. Following their acclaimed production of Ethiopian Dreams, Circus Abyssinia returns with the exhilarating London premiere of their second production Tulu.

Celebrating the true tale of an Ethiopian Olympic icon, Derartu Tulu, this is an unmissable showcase of superhuman strength. A blend of breathtaking contortion, awe-inspiring acrobatics, and mesmerising fire-juggling with a rocking, exuberant soundtrack.

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Derartu Tulu said: “I’m excited and so flattered that Circus Abyssinia has chosen to tell my story I’m very intrigued by the circus arts, which are quite new to Ethiopia, and how they might express and connect with my passion for my sport.”

Bichu Shimellis added: “It’s very important to us to share Derartu’s story. ‘Tulu’ is inspired by a true Olympic icon and pays tribute to some of the extraordinary women who have helped shape Ethiopian history. Right now, women in Ethiopia are winning the long fight for equality, and their stories – sadly often ignored by history – need to be known. Derartu is one of the greatest unsung heroines of modern Ethiopia and we are thrilled to invite audiences of the UK to share and celebrate her life and achievements with us.”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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