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Home » Bartholomew Fair: City Of London’s Announces Festival Programme

Bartholomew Fair: City Of London’s Announces Festival Programme

Central London’s biggest outdoor arts fair returns with a programme of creative spectacles which are free to watch.

The City of London has reinvigorated Bartholomew Fair, a festival that dates back to the 12th century and which was last held in 1855, with an international-flavoured programme of engaging public art pieces.

Running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from August 31 to September 16, the fair opens with Resurgam, a vertical dance performance of the façade of St Paul’s Cathedral by California-based company Bandaloop, which is also co-produced and co-commissioned by the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

Bandaloop will perform on the façade of St Paul’s Cathedral (Image: Jessica Swanson)

Highlights include Olivier-award-winning artist Kit Green’s 1133 at Festival Gardens which is a punchy reworking of Bartholomew Fair by playwright Ben Jonson and a multi-disciplinary circus show from Belgium-based circus troupe heled in St Paul’s Churchyard.

Also in the first week, award-winning clown Fraser Hooper will present his show Funny Business which features a stunt duck, human fish and really silly boxing match.

In the second week, look out for Dinner for All by Gorilla Circus which celebrates the history of Bartholomew Fair through an immersive theatrical circus show and dinner service.

Eau de Memoire by Miss High Leg Kicks is an interactive show on memories evoked by our sense of smell.

Show Funny Business is a festival highlight (Image: Fraser Hooper)

Puppets with Guts will host a big puppet singalong show The Lips that features many popular hits, and Follow Me is a series of projection installations that tells the story of a child on a quest across the City of London that features figures from the city’s past. This work is by Imitating the dog.

Events and shows take place around Liverpool street, Aldgate Square, Leadenhall Market, Smithfield Market and various other places around the City of London.

Every Saturday, there’s a programme of creative workshops by Tootles + Nibs on clowning, music, circus and print-making.

For the full programme and timings, visit