Saturday night fun at the Dark Circus Party

It’s always fun to do something that shakes up your Saturday night routine and reminds you just what London has to offer. Going somewhere completely new is a good start, but dressing up and doing something different is even better.  Last month Dark Circus Party hopped on the radar, a night that promised cocktails, costumes and risqué entertainment, to me a night that sounded like a fun place to take your friends and dance until the early hours.

So on the last Saturday of September, Lucinda, Lucy and I glammed up and made our way over to the Bloomsbury Ballrooms.  The dress code seemed strict but open to interpretation. As we stepped out of Bloomsbury Square and into the Ballroom, we were taken from a gentile side of the city to a hidden hedonistic party, a similar atmosphere to prohibition parties with the added twist of a variety of circus-inspired outfits. Being unsure of what our fellow guests would be wearing, we went towards the decadent side of the dress code.


Make the effort, add a little sparkle or throw in some vintage style and you fit in just fine. But for those feeling brave and ready to embrace the theme, they were not alone.

Before the entertainment started we headed to the candlelit bar for cocktails.


Dark Circus Party is brought to us by Bourne & Hollingsworth (the group behind Reverend JW Simpson, and a host of other cocktail bars and venues), so I had high hopes for the menu and enjoying a good drink or few.

I expected no less than something circus-inspired …


I ordered the Circus Sling…


Lucinda and Lucy went for the Rebourne and Raspberry Collins. By the end of the evening, we’d tried most of the menu between us and they were all well-mixed and much enjoyed.

Cocktails in hand we went into the low-lit ballroom.


Tables of friends round the outside, dancers on the dance floor inside, all enjoying the mix of Electro Swing, Circus Burlesque, Kabaret, Ballroom Blitz and Big Top Party Mash-Ups from the night’s DJ. I can’t describe the music much better than these titles, all I can say it that they’re pretty easy to move to and get into the spirit of the evening! (Read: wear your dancing shoes)

At about 10pm the acts begin to emerge to entertain. The Torture Garden is their usual stage, I wasn’t all that aware of its fetish reputation until I visited the site after, here the acts find the balance between mainstream and extreme. Burlesque meets the circus, giving the evening its risque entertainment.

From fire-eating dancers…


To sultry laser lit dancers…


Eye-opening acrobatics…


And a very skillful, scantily clad pole dancer…


There were also performances up on the stage at various points in the evening.


At no point will you find yourself looking for entertainment, between the acts from Torture Garden, the music to dance to and the wide array of outfits to gawp there’s endless fun to enjoy.

It’s definitely a Saturday night out for a group of friends looking for something a bit different, a great option for a fun birthday celebration.

Tickets for the evening are £20 each. The next Dark Circus Party is a Halloween special on 26 October. More details can be found on the website.

If you don’t fancy stepping into the dark side of the circus, Bourne & Hollingsworth host a few other events, SS Atlantica looks like a great way to dress up and see London from the Thames!

Have you enjoyed an alternative night out in London? Does the Dark Circus Party take your fancy for the next time you want to do something a bit different?

The kind people at Kapranos PR provided us with complimentary tickets to the event. As ever all opinions are my own. I only attend events that I genuinely think will be fun and worth sharing.