His story

Doug Francisco is a founder member and ring master of The Invisible Circus.

Known for his pioneering conceptual work and his magnetism in the ring, he is also a formidable character actor, bringing charisma, depth, showmanship and mischief to a kaleidoscopic spectrum of circus, theatre and film productions.

With his creative roots in music and painting, he found his natural calling in performance shortly after the Invisible Circus was born into the creative explosion of early 90’s festival and rave culture.

A key figure in the alternative arts scene, 1992 saw Doug transform a derelict shoe shop at the heart of West London’s Portobello market into the Exposure Gallery. Driven by an ethos of creative renewal and dynamic community arts, he went on to secure Bridge House, a large unused site under the iconic Westway flyover which would become the first Artspace Lifespace project.

The Circus troupe formed as a mobile unit in 1993 and spent a nomadic decade as street performers across Europe before developing their first stage production “The Renegade Fabulon” in 2002 for the Glastonbury Festival. The infamous late night area Lost Vagueness was the perfect arena for the Invisibles to launch their character and concept driven shows with performances that spanned circus, theatre and the threads of creative subculture.

On their return to the UK, The Invisible Circus grew into a core element of some of the country’s leading festivals. In 2005, they established a permanent base in Bristol and began evolving into more site specific circus theatre.

Over the last decade, The Invisible Circus has carved a unique cultural niche with large scale immersive events such as Carny Ville, runs at the Bristol Old Vic and a dizzying range of shows, performances and installations.