THERE could be backflips at the bar and forward rolls in the foyer this Christmas when a new circus production rolls into Shelley Theatre next month.

Living Room Circus offers a new spin on traditional festive shows with The Penguin & I, which runs at the historic venue in Boscombe from Wednesday, December 19, to Sunday, December 23.

Founder Elinor Overton Harvey and artistic director Jason Dupree want to bring immersive experiences to audiences. The concept was formed during their studies at the National Centre For Circus Arts in London.

Elinor said: “The idea for the company started in a coffee shop with a friend - we were both sat in huge armchairs. By sitting in this comfy space, I thought how good it would be to have a performance happening around us in a homely space.

“I wrote a business plan and this idea of an intimate circus company was born.”

The Living Room Circus brings together dancers, musicians, free runners and acrobats as one connected family that all started at circus university.

“Circus brings the wow factor, we look to do something that looks impossible. To do this in a historic theatre in Bournemouth is something we can’t wait to do this Christmas.”

Jason Dupree is a former Ashdown School (now Magna Academy) pupil. He said: “Very simply, we are taking a traditional space (a theatre for people to come to) and transforming it to a place with a narrative. We are going to bring Shelley Theatre alive

“We all want people coming back to the theatre, for another event and to say, ‘I remember seeing someone do a backflip in the bar.’

He added: “After touring around the UK and Europe this year with The Penguin & I, I am looking forward to performing it in my home town for the first time.”

* The Penguin & I is for ages 14 plus. Early bird tickets £15. To book, visit or call 01202 413600