The Lost Carnival by Wild Rumpus, preview: Time to take sides

Suzy Prince

We preview the 2016 incarnation of The Lost Carnival – a circus-esque affair for families, with set pieces, performances and a grand finale.

The Lost Carnival is an annual theatrical experience, presented by award-winning social enterprise Wild Rumpus, along with co-producers So It Is and LAS Theatre. Every year, as the evenings grow longer and the temperature rises, the Lost Carnival will appear in a different locality. Last year, it appeared in a park in Bury – this time it’s heading to Crewe. Audiences will be invited into a strange and wonderful world over three nights for an unforgettable theatrical experience.

The Birds and the Ingénues are two rival carnival families – one dark, swaggering and glamorous, the other sparkling, happy and shiny – battling for supremacy, and this year you’ll be invited to take sides, to choose your friends and foe as the Battle of the Carnivals commences. A large cast of actors and ensembles will provie spellbinding theatre and installations, including treetop performances and ground acrobatics from Whispering Woods, music from The Voodoo Love Orchestra, visual trickery and slideshows.

This is a truly imaginative, unique experience

Entrance to the event is staggered, meaning that the audience is able to remain relatively small at any given time. However, the organisers are hoping that once families are through the ticket barrier, they’ll stick around; every night, the showdown culminates in a spectacular finale performance at 9pm, just as the sun is setting.

[mini_cta override=”BOOK NOW”/]

Before you attend the event itself, be sure to check out the website to browse the two family albums, get costume ideas and start watching the podcasts, devised by Geoff Bird, who also wrote the original story for the Lost Carnival, which explains more of the backstory.

All in all it’s a truly imaginative, unique experience, with the all-too-rare bonus that people of all different ages will genuinely enjoy it. It’s enough to make you feel tempted to run away and join the carnival: who knows where it will show up next year? The uncertainty is all part of the fun.

Things to Do in Liverpool
Spotlight on

Things to Do in Liverpool

Our guide to the thriving city of Liverpool, where new creative futures are written against the backdrop of a unique history.

Take me there

Culture Guides


We go all in on festivals, with a round-up of everything from city-spanning giants to grassroots gems you may not know about.


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!

Classical Music

Summer's classical music calendar is filling up nicely! Read our top picks of concerts happening in Manchester and the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House

The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)

Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance.

Food and Drink

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.

Theatre in Manchester

Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.