How to Square a Circle - The Circus comes to Town, but not how you might think

By Hayden Moore

Telling a heart-warming story of love, friendship, ego and the simple joy of a cup of tea is something that a viewer would expect to be included in all of the typical storytelling tropes but one of the key components, speech, is missing in ‘How to Square a Circle’.

Told through mostly physical storytelling, the acrobatic show by a couple of Ireland’s leading circus performers has been doing the rounds at theatres all across the country and recently picked up the London Launchpad Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival.

 Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Ronan Brady in their show How to Square A Circle Pic Ste Murray 2 compressor

Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Ronan Brady in their show How to Square A Circle (Image: Ste Murray)

A two-piece, the show full up acrobatic trickery is coming to The Civic Theatre between October 23-25 and features Rathfarnham native Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and former Roscommon senior footballer Ronan Brady.

Ahead of the show in a few weeks, Aisling broke down how someone can get into the very unique act of performing circus acts.

“It’s easier now more than ever but when I first got into it, there was only really two ways of getting into performing aerial circus theatre. It’s quite unusual,” she told The Echo.

“Fidget Feet is sort of like the big circus company in Ireland and then there’s a festival up in Donegal called the Irish Aerial Dance Festival that is for professionals and beginners.”

Having just culminated her studies in medieval history, Aisling was planning to do a PhD in Medieval Medical History until she spent a week at the Irish Aerial Dance festival in Letterkenny taking her very first steps into the world of circus performing.

“After I finished my exams in college, I wanted to do something for myself to kind of celebrate and mark finishing my exams.

“The festival popped up when I was scrolling through Facebook and just thought ‘what the feck is that? And I get to go to Donegal.

 Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Ronan Brady in their show How to Square A Circle Pic Ste Murray 1 compressor

Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Ronan Brady performing on stage (Image: Ste Murray)

“You’re sitting there in a class and then then they’re just like ‘right off you go, now you get to climb up and use this circus equipment’, it is amazing.

“You hear people saying all of the time about moments that changed their lives but that is exactly what happened, it changed everything for me.”

When asked if she would consider going back to college to pick up her studies where she left them off, Aisling replied: “Yeah maybe when I’m 90 or something.”

In preparation for their four sold-out shows at Dublin Fringe Festival in September, Aisling and Ronan re-worked their play to remove the dialogue in the show and make the narrative purely told through physicality.

Featuring double trapeze, hand to hand acrobats, aerial dance and their specialty moves on the aerial hoop and cyr wheel, ‘How to Square a Circle’ is gearing up to be three shows jam-packed with gravity-defying stunts and pure entertainment.

There will be a school showing of ‘How to Square a Circle’ on October 23 at 12pm with tickets €6 and teachers going free while on October 24-25 at 7.30pm tickets cost €15 per adult with the first child going free and €6 thereafter.

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