Billy Alwen

Billy Alwen is co-founder and Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, an experienced creator of outdoor spectacle, circus and street theatre since 1999. He started his circus life as an aerialist, performing all over the world, in tents in fields, parks and city centres, forming Cirque Bijou in 1999 with Julian Bracey. Since then Cirque Bijou have made thousands of shows across the globe for audiences of 50 to 50,000. In 2012 they collaborated with the Desperate Men and Diverse City to make Battle for the Winds and Breathe which launched the London 2012 Olympic Sailing events in Weymouth. It was a true epic, with 52 shows in 7 UK counties – with thousands of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members. Significantly it bought Cirque Bijou into partnership with Diverse City. A year later the first Extraordinary Bodies show, Weighting, was made in only 10 days, with an exceptional company of disabled and non-disabled artists. Since that first commission in 2013 Extraordinary Bodies has made three more shows, co Directed by Billy and Claire, What Am I worth, Splash and Human.

In 2020 Billy created a new large-scale outdoor show that became the centerpiece of the Taiwan National Lantern Festival, which performed to 140,000 people over 16 nights. Billy is currently a board member of the Bristol City Culture Board and the Dorset Outdoor Arts Fund.