As A Tiger In The Jungle

By Cirkus Xanti (Norway) & Ali Williams Productions (Wales)

As a Tiger in the Jungle tells the real-life story of three performers from Nepal, trafficked into circuses as children and into a life of slavery. Using spoken word; movement; circus and ceremony, they tell the story of how, against all odds, they survived their childhood and created their own destiny, using the skills learnt in captivity in a positive and empowering way. This is an international production partnership between prize-winning director Sverre Waage, (Cirkus Xanti, Norway) and creative producer Ali Williams (co-founder and former artistic director of nofitstate, Wales).  

This powerful and poignant show represents an international production partnership with Director Sverre Waage (Cirkus Xanti, Norway) and  creative producer Ali Williams (founder of nofitstate, Wales).  It is a unique fusion of Asian and European performance, circus and music, set to an original score by Per Zanussi.

In 2013 Producer Ali Williams was privileged to spend a year working as the Creative Director with Circus Kathmandu. This was a contemporary circus group made up of 13 young men and women who were all child trafficking survivors. Traffickers had taken them to traditional Indian circuses, with the promise of stardom and opportunity. Instead the children had entered a life of slavery, exploitation and abuse in circuses that became their prisons.

“We are pleased to have created a meaningful and engaging performance based on true stories from the performers’ lives. I was inspired by the young artists from Circus Kathmandu and am delighted to be able to employ Aman and Renu in a professional capacity and utilise the skills they learnt in captivity in a positive and empowering way. This gives the performance an authenticity rarely seen on stage today”. Ali Williams

Further background Information

Between 2004 and 20011 Philip Holmes (Founder of charity partner ChoraChori Nepal) headed up a programme in Nepal that rescued 700 Nepalese children from abusive and exploitative traditional circuses in India. His team freed half of these child slaves through dangerous direct rescue operations that they mounted in conjunction with the Indian authorities and police. The circuses released the other half voluntarily in order to avoid the negative publicity and risk of prosecution that accompanied high profile raids.

After repatriation the youngest of the returnees started school. However older returnees were more interested in vocational training and in finding work as soon as possible. Philip’s team provided a range of options that involved some original thinking, the most lateral of which involved the setting up of a contemporary circus group called Circus Kathmandu. This initiative allowed the returnees to use the skills they already had and indeed to confront their demons from the past. Through Circus Kathmandu they were able to travel internationally and find the stardom that had been mis-sold to them by the traffickers.

Philip Holmes’ child rescue work continues through registered children’s charity ChoraChori ( which is the charity partner for this production. Philip’s team is currently rescuing Nepalese children from Dickensian “children’s shelters” for displaced children in India. From October 2017 ChoraChori will begin rescuing Nepali girls from Indian brothels. Please make a donation towards our unique rescue programme through this link: For more information contact Philip on

The show is funded by the Arts Council Wales, Arts Council England, Arts Council Norway, FFUK, SPENN, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danse og Teatersentrum, Wales Assembly Government, Fond for Lyd og Bilde.

By Cirkus Xanti (Norway) & Ali Williams Productions (Wales)

£12 (£10) (£8 child)

'As a Tiger in the Jungle' is likely to have an unforgettable life-long profound effect on you
Theatre reviews
'As A Tiger in the Jungle' is a brave, sad, and beautifully staged production that shines with an inner fire
Circus Diaries
Suitable for ages 8 +

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