Blog / A Tale of Two Circuses: Different Circus Event Themes

A Tale of Two Circuses: Different Circus Event Themes

Different Circus Event Themes

Two contrasting approaches to a circus theme, this blog is a tale of two Circuses, where we explore different circus event themes and ideas

Table Art Scotland, better known as the Blue Parrot Group, are masters of event décor, especially in the realm of different circus event themes. Which is why we thought it a good time to highlight two of their events, illustrating the contrast in two wildly different approaches. Firstly, one taking the more traditional approach with all the charm of the old-world. The second taking our ultra-surrealist Dream Circus style. The aim here isn’t to create some sense of competition where one aesthetic is chosen over the other.  To clafiry, the motivation here is to show the versatility of a circus theme and how you can make it work for your event.

The two events we are focussing on today are the Scotrail Employee Awards that took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. Secondly a private corporate gala at the Hilton Glasgow. Both taking place in 2019, this is a retrospective into two Circus themed events held in the vibrant city of Glasgow. 

On with the show!

greatest showman theme
dream circus awards gala

Circus Theme: The Traditional Circus

Cinema has played a huge role in what images are conjured up when we think of the circus. The Greatest Show on Earth, Circus World and Dumbo have all become veritable time capsules to the Circuses of a bygone era. Movies packed with vast red and gold tents, action packed with Acrobats taking to daredevil heights and clowns spooking us down below.

The resurgence of the theme in recent years has to be in thanks to The Greatest Showman movie released in 2017. The juggernaut of a movie went onto become the sleeper hit of the decade. Subsequently,  it has influenced the events industry in a big way! No longer is the old circus styling seen as a dated, tacky approach. Moreover, now with a carefully selected range of props and centrepieces, you can throw your very own Circus Soiree that would be fit for the Greatest Showman himself!

circus theme prop

Circus Theme: Dream Circus

The Dream Circus event theme was originally conceptualised for The Brewery Venue London back in Christmas 2015 for their festive parties. The venues most successful premise to date, it was a powerhouse of a theme.  Taking the classic circus motifs and turning them on their heads with a surrealist twist, the Dream Circus Concept was born. A bold monochrome colour pallet with purple highlights sets the tone. A key prop, the giant Inflatable elephant mirrors that colour pallet with a distinctive zebra print.

The idea behind the Dream Circus is that it takes the traditional Victorian circus styling but adds a surrealist twist. Featuring unicorns and floating elephants, the concept is instantly recognisable and is arguable our most popular event styling package!

dream circus gala

Executing the Perfect Greatest Showman Circus:

For anyone who has watched the Greatest Showman Film, it may look like an intimidating style to replicate. With such opulent sets and colourful displays, it can be overwhelming. However, here at Table Art we know how to simplify without compromising on aesthetic. With just a few select props, you can bring all the charm of the movie to life at your next event. Here we take a look at those select props:

Acrobat Centrepiece

Greatest Showman Centrepiece

Animal Prop

Hanging Props


circus lion

Additional Features for Different Circus Event Themes:

There are some other elements to consider when looking at creating a full immersive experience with your traditional circus. As shown here at the Hilton Glasgow, there are a couple of great additions that can really set the whole theme off:

♥ Draping

♥ Branded Window Coverings

♥ Gold Curtain Entrance

♥ AV

♥ Costumed Performers

We can highly recommend the team at Area 51 for event performers. Not only are the acts themselves top-notch, the costuming here is of the highest quality. Guests will be queuing up to get their picture with this cast of circus characters!

circus theme props

Executing the Surrealist Soiree that is the Dream Circus:

As inventors of the Dream Circus Theme, it will be no surprise to read that we are THE place to come when looking to utilize this concept for your own event. Our dedicated design team have worked hard to create this distinctive collection of props, all designed to work seamlessly together to deliver the Dream Circus:

Acrobat Centrepiece

Greatest Showman Centrepiece

Carousel Centrepiece

Glow Bubble Centrepiece

Moving Eye Mask Prop

dream circus awards dinner

Additional Features:

In the same way that you can accentuate your Traditional Circus Theme, there are similar tricks you can pull for Dream Circus. Draping is a huge element that gives you the ‘big top’ feel. This dramatic draping can also be a great way to mirror your colour theme or brand colours. Consider matching this in with your choice of Linen for a sleek look.

♥ Draping

♥ AV Lighting

♥ Linens

As always, your choice of AV is vital. Selecting the right AV Group to support your event is just as important as the décor supplier. The impact an AV can make on an event cannot be underestimated. With the simple installation of uplighters, walls are completely transformed! Washed in your chosen colours, uplighters are a great way to great a dramatic backdrop for your event.

dream circus awards gala

Similarities Between Different Circus Event Themes:

For those eagle-eyed amongst you, we are sure you spotted a couple of the Table Art products mirrored at both circus event themes. For instance, the Showman Centrepiece is a great choice for both. All you need to do is change the colour you up light it and your away! It’s transformed from the Greatest Showman himself to a surrealist Dream Circus Ringmaster, all by changing it from red to purple, what a trick!

Both equally use the Acrobat Centrepiece, but the Dream Circus approach added in the Glow Bubbles. By Adding in the bubbles, you are mirroring in the balloons featured in the panelling and inflatables that are commonplace on a Dream circus theme. It also has the benefit of adding height to the room.

acrobat centrepiece
dream circus awards gala

Key Differences Between Different Circus Event Themes:

The standout difference on these two approaches is the colour way. We use similar products with a unified aesthetic but what separates them is how they are illuminated. How can such a simple thing create such a huge change?

As we have said before, the traditional circus lives in the realms of red and yellow. Looking at old circus posters and you will find gold tones as the dominate colour way. Why? We imagine because the bold colours drew in audiences. Audiences we can only imagine were looking for vibrancy. By selecting these colours for your own circus event, you are taking the more traditional route to the theme. Guests will instantly recognise the look and be charmed by the nostalgic touches you have imbued.

circus giraffe

On the other hand, you have the Dream Circus Style. This aesthetic stands out for the monochromatic tones set against the blue and purple highlights. Working effectively to illuminate the weird and wonderful props/ centrepieces, the colourway here is a world away from the traditional.

dream circus awards dinners

Choosing the right style for you…

Now to the hard part, how to choose what works best for your event. The first consideration would be the delegates, consider their sensibilities and what would work best for them. For instance, if you have an older delegation that would really relish a whimsical and nostalgic event that the Traditional Circus is perhaps the one to go for. If, however you have a younger crowd that are all about Instagram, Dream Circus would work beautifully? Why? Dream Circus possesses a more modern approach with surrealist elements that draw a crowd. Delegates will be lining up to get pictures of the inflatable elephant and masks. A Dream Circus party is chock full of ‘Insta’ moments.

Another key consideration is the colours. Think of your brand and what colour work best to strengthen that? It boils down to whether red and gold works in favour of black, white, and purple? However, it is not the end of the world if you change your mind, on the night we can simply grab our remote and alter the colours at the touch of a button!

The Wrap Up

We hope this tale of two circuses have given you a strong sense of how best to approach the theme. With the details laid out and wealth of supporting images, you have everything you need to pick the right circus theme for you.

If you have been exploring our Table Centre Hire range and cannot quite find what you are looking for then please get in touch. Our design studio is eagerly awaiting your call, set to deliver exactly what you are looking for!


dream circus panels

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