Nothing but the Truth:
This story which started with 3 lunatics would never had existed without the courage and dedication of hundreds of persons who believed these lunatics and followed them regardless all the dificulties, joining a convoy on a journey to the unknown. The Custom Circus name rests upon the shoulders of these excepcional beings which wrote and write each moment of our history:
Artists, Musicians, Technicians, Crew, Riggers, Producers, Photographers, Cameramen, Directors, Partners, Agents, Tour Managers, Designers, Media Partners, Sponsors, Guests, Drivers, Bikers, Scouts, Backstage Staff, Welcome Staff, Security, Extras, Auxiliary, Clubs, Family and Supporters.
History of the Company:
Custom Circus emerged for the first time in 1988 on the plot of the novel A Saga da Roda – The Wheel Saga, being later on created and brought to reality by the trio Daniela Sousa (Daniella Vol), Michel Alex (Michel Gigolo) and Rui Gago (Dr.Apokalipse) when their paths crossed during productions of Lisbon Capital of Culture 1994 due to their work on a La Fura Dels Baus tour and the launch of the album Songs os Distant Earth – Mike Oldfield.
In a progressive and restless way, the trio specialized around alternative multinational shows and multimedia performances for bold corporates. Back then they hired artists and booked companies for short term or exclusive show formats which were presented with the client's name or brand or even with a disposable company's name. Although, after 10 years and hundreds of shows within the multinational corporative circuit, they finaly decided to adopt in 2004 their code name Custom Circus, a designation derived from their nomad genesis and the way they parked their convoy of 30 theater vehicles in an arena shaped scenery with Dieselpunk and Steampunk aesthetics. With such a vintage theatrical structure requirering a hard mantainance and being almost misfits due to their strange appearance and way of life, they created this saying to welcome rookies to the company and entourage: "If you believe in miracles you're welcome here, where everyone thought it was easy!"
Presently the path and work of the company has gained more recognition from the media and some selective atention granted them interviews on the major Portuguese TV channels such as RTP, SIC and TVI, not forgueting lots of magazine articles where Custom Circus are usually depicted as the iberian Burning Man, the on stage Mad Max or something very surreal:
“The one and only thanks to their original culture” - Time Out
"Stage Beasts" - FHM
"Doses of madness, explosions of senses" - Happy
"For free spirits only" - Forbes
“Totally crazy yet unforgettable”- Sol
"It's one of a kind show" - Vip
“Outdoors or on stage, always wild!”- Visão
"Surreal Cabaret" - Activa
"Surreal with soul and heart”- Expresso
"Custom made burlesques" - Jornal i
"A non stop of astonishing stories" - Caras
"Apocaliptic Shows" - DN
"An endless imagination" - REV
"A really different show from the usual" - Motojornal
" Shows filled with light, sound and fire" - Evasões
"They dazzle thousands with their fantastic sceneries" - Autosport
“If you got nothing to say don’t step on the stage!”
This sentence Marcel Marceau said one day to Michel Alex in a dressing room, would influence the character of Custom Circus mises en scenes, where hidden messages in bizarre performing acts are the strongest links of their shows. Another meaningful aspect of their productions was the pioneering alternative factor within the presentation of stage and cinematic performances, mainly in Portugal and Spain, highlighting polemic aesthetics such as Post-Apocalypse, Cabaret Rock and Steampunk, subcultures crossing their artistic time window since 1994 until today.
The troupe’s bohemian lifestyle attracted many trans-disciplinary artists and show world people to the company whitch balanced between 6 to 30 hyperactive performers along several line ups sometimes interrupted by some random scandal. Around 2003 emerged the need to harbor the rising entourage of the troupe, but to stop such structure would be ruinous, though the best if not the only way was to create a community that could also allow the presentation of resident "softer" shows between tours and also install Custom Circus peripheral road born anarchic projects, thus the creation of Nirvana Studios – The Alternative Cultural Center.
It was a tough decision, but after several years most of the time itinerant, to stop in a fixed place didn’t fit their habits, anyway they manage to cope the Nirvana project and remain on the road until 2011. On the other hand, the community they founded didn’t stop growing, attracting more and more artists, bands and other cultural projects in such way they had to rethink the company’s future and to save Nirvana Studios they accepted a more sedentary way of life. Between 2010 and 2012 they sell 95% of their theatrical truck fleet to self finance the Alternative Cultural Center and the construction of their own theater Custom Café.
Custom Café “The Cabaret Rock”:
The on the road good old times of the long convoy of classic trucks and caravans are engraved on the walls of Custom Café inaugurated in 2012 and since then tens of thousands spectators found in this theater the story of this company.
Have You Crossed With Us?
In many years, many places, almost a thousand shows and lots of stories, we've met several out of the box people and maybe you're one of them. If you got photos, videos or recuerdos from our tours and locations you'de like to share, contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at Nirvana Studios .
A Saga da Roda – The Wheel Saga (2002)
Custom Parade (2003 - 2009)
Lua Cheia – Full Moon (2004 - 2006)
Custom Party (2004 - 2010)
Teatro Sobre Rodas – Theater On Wheels (2005 - 2010)
Prisioneiros do Blues – Prisoners of the Blues (2006 - 2007)
Performers do Fogo – Fire Performers (2007 - 2008)
Gigolo Dance (2008 - 2011)
Le Cabaret Rock (2012 - 2013)
Bizarre Chic (2014 - 2015)
A Viagem "Best Of" – The Journey "Best Of" (2015 - 2017)
Herdeiros do Apokalipse – Apokalipse Heirs "The Performance" (2016 - 2019)
Absurdium (2017 - 2019)
Exhibitions and Visual Arts:
Check the Art page on the website's menu