What’s on: Run away with the circus?


Circus made corona-proof, Turnhout raids the museum archives, Ghent presents a month of music and Antwerp puts queer arts centre stage

Circus on the Road & Applaus

Ghent’s House of Alijn museum of daily life is exploring the world of the travelling circus through the years.

With a unique collection of pictures, films, posters and personal objects, plus stories from contemporary performers, Circus on the Road brings to life the rhythms, challenges and joys of life on the road. Until August 2021, House of Alijn, Kraanlei 65, Ghent

Meanwhile, book your ticket now for Applaus, Circus Ronaldo’s solution to performing in the Covid era. To keep things corona-proof, it takes the show out of the big top and presents a walking circus for small audience groups. In their bubbles of up to 10, they journey behind the scenes of the circus, round the trailers and behind the tents, where they’re guaranteed to encounter a few characters. Suitable for ages five and up. 14-16 August, CC De Ploter, Ternat; 22-24 August, Grote Markt, Veurne

Antwerp Queer Arts Festival

AQAF is both an international arts festival, questioning gender and sexual diversity, and a platform for people to meet and express themselves. It’s a grassroots initiative supported by directly by ticket sales. This year’s line-up kicks off in style with a literary evening, featuring prominent author Tom Lanoye, former city poet Maud Van Hauwaert, and Gaea Schoeters and Johanna Pas, the people responsible for translating Kate Tempest’s powerful Tiresias into Dutch. Across the following week, there are Q&As, concerts, short films, slam poetry and dance celebrating diversity and artistic queerness. The whole thing is part of the greater Antwerp Pride, Flanders' biggest pride festival. In lieu of the crowded parade and street festival this year are smaller events ongoing until the end of August. AQAF: 3-9 August, Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4

Bijloke Wonderland

Bijloke and LOD, two Ghent cultural institutions, are joining forces to present a magical musical experience in their magnificent, atmospheric courtyard. Bijloke Wonderland is a collection of jazz, classical and new music, musical theatre, family performances and literary events that will see you through the rest of the summer. Some events require tickets, but musical evenings at the festival’s open-air Summer Bar (pictured above, in pre-social distancing days) are free. Tapas and cocktails optional. 1 August-13 September, Bijlokekaai 7, Ghent

Acquisitions on Display

The Taxandria museum
in Turnhout has raided its archives for a series of donations and acquisitions collected over the past 20 years. They’d usually be brought out for a short while to support other exhibitions, but now they have a show in their own right. City councillor Astrid Wittebolle compares the museum to a sports team: “You can see the quality of a team from the talent on the substitutes bench, just as the value of a depot tells you a lot about the quality of a museum. And there are a lot of gems in the museum depot in Turnhout.” Many objects have been donated by locals, including a falconer’s lure, writings by a former political prisoner, Bronze Age arrowheads found by local children, and lace from the city’s textile industry. Until 23 December, Begijnenstraat 28, 2300 Turnhout

Photos: Bijloke © Michiel Devijver; Circus on the Road © Huis van Alijn