Aloft Presents Sanctuary

Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (cabaret, family-friendly)

  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


An underground circus cabaret with a punk-rock soul, where all are welcome. Always changing and always amazing, Sanctuary Cabaret features a revolving line-up of internationally renowned circus artists, banding together to showcase their most personal and prized acts. Complimented by stunning live music fusing classic standards and modern faves with a slow, swanky twist. Direct from Chicago, this is cabaret excellence everyone can enjoy. Brought to you by Aloft, the creators of 2022 Fringe hit Brave Space, **** (Stage), **** (Scotsman), ‘The impressive acrobatics wowed the audience from young to old’ ***** (

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Access into the venue with a wheelchair can become restricted once the majority of the audience have been sat. Please turn up with ample time so you can be admitted first to ensure ease of access.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Edith Collins 35 days ago

Very disappointed. Not anywhere near the calibre of the other circuses showcased at the fringe. MC lady was insufferable and took up at least a quarter of the show. She claims to have learned a lot in her month performing here, but didn't put in the time to learn how to correctly pronounce the name of the city that was hosting her. It's Ed-in-bruh or Ed-In-Buh-Ruh, not Ed-in-bore-oh. Show some respect.

Alice Connolly 36 days ago

What a beautiful, magical and sometimes scary (in a very good way) experience!! This was different to anything else I've seen (or rather, experienced) at the Fringe - I loved the intimacy I had with the performers and the trust the performers put in their audience to help them with their acts!!

Tim Archibald 41 days ago

Absolutely fantastic show!! I honestly can’t understand the negative reviews below, must be the british cynicism.. The show was full of fun, energy and enthusiasm, not to mention their skills, music and venue! We thoroughly enjoyed it!!

SN 42 days ago

This was by far the worst show I have seen this year. I wish I could get back the money and time we spent. If I could describe it in one word: cringe. The host/MC was unbearable. Lots of parading around, bad jokes and banter and a looot of self-praise and fishing for compliments. It felt like the musical and poor juggling acts were just there to stretch out the show.

Liv H 44 days ago

I think this shows seems rather marmitey… we went and had a wonderful time. There was a fantastic sense of whimsy and playfulness throughout. It had the feel of a cabaret show, rather than a circus act, with a mix of music, aerial acts and circus skills. Very talented team who showed off their amazing talents.

Rachael P 46 days ago

Was very disappointed. Saw Brave Space by the same company last year which was beautiful so had high expectations. The circus acts were underwhelming with the majority of the hour taken up by the 'MC' parading around. The jokes may land for an American audience but we found it largely unfunny. The audience participation was particularly cringy - with no volunteers, 2 people were guilt tripped into taking part before being made to roar like a lion in furry animal ears. 45 mins of awkward watching and 15 mins of interesting acts.

Judge J 48 days ago

Don't bother. Very poor. Agree with AS's and CC's comments below, can't understand the rest. Worst show I have ever seen in this venue. They could easily have compressed the circus acts into 20 minutes at most, and even they were not all top notch - the rest of the 60 minutes is unentertaining padding. The hula hooper was brilliant though, so her 5 minutes of 5 star performance averages out to less than 1 star overall. She should join another show.

Arthur Sierra 50 days ago

I cant understand so many positive reviews. The acts are ok, although very average juggling compared to what you see on the street, but the hour is shamelessly padded out with bland music and terrible chat from the MC e.g “if you feel you want to go to the toilet during the show, dont go. The toilets are far away. Just let a little out” What?! Contrary to the billing, nothing punk about this show.

Becky Colegrave 52 days ago

This is an incredible show that showcases the unbelievable skill of the aerialists and matches breathtaking performances with a fabulous soundtrack and live music in between. Our kids (ages 12 and 15) loved it as much as we did. 5 stars from us!

Lynn Cunningham 52 days ago

Absolutely fantastic, a great mixture of professional performers, with an entertaining MC and great live music between performances. The strength and skill of performers was breathtaking. Suitable for children (6+) and adults alike. Highly recommend.

adrian meaburn 52 days ago

Awesome skilful circus performers and great music. We had a fantastic view!

Alan O'Callaghan 53 days ago

Fantastic show - great music, a great MC with fantastic outfits (yes plural), and astonishingly good performances. Pure performance, the first time I've left a fringe cabaret show and started planning to go again!

Catriona Scott 53 days ago

Fantastic show, highly recommend. I took my children (12 and 9 years old), we all loved it. Really well paced with great variety of acts from amazingly talented performers. A brilliant mix of fun, mesmerising and beautiful - really captivating.

J Davis 53 days ago

The opulence of The Beauty venue (mirrors, burgundy velvet, intimate seating) was the perfect setting for Aloft's swanky, Chicago-style circus cabaret. Despite being scheduled at 5:15pm (which felt a bit early for this show), the host Shayna Swanson -- an act unto herself with her off-the-charts outfits and energizing banter with the audience -- transformed the atmosphere from a family matinee to a post-dinner, post-drinks nightclub vibe, all the while keeping the content perfectly appropriate and enjoyable for families (no small feat!). I loved the interplay between the super chill musical numbers, the demanding, dynamic circus acts, and the audience participation. All in all, a fully entertaining and fulfilling experience!

Zoe Brookes 53 days ago

What a delight to see Aloft changing things up with TWO contrasting offerings this year. Host Shayna Swanson is all things brave, and brings to the Meadows a classic circus cabaret show that allows each individual artist to show their talents. Imagine yourself in late night Chicago, in low-lighting and maybe a little lit up yourself. Each individual artist has the stage for their best offering. If you love it, lap it up, if you don't, wait two minutes! This offering features a charming and jaunty versatile musician, diabolo artist and juggler, a saucy singer, some very bendy aerial dance moves and a whole lot of hilarity from the hostess with the mostest! Expect brash American stage-claiming, close-up views of what it takes to tumble from the ceiling and land with grace, and much much more...

Christopher C 54 days ago

Having been to the Circus Hub for 3 years and enjoying around 15 The Beauty shows i have to unfortunately state this was the worst. If I could describe it, I would say it was very "American" a lot of humour that did not land with a British pallete, but also, a lot of asking for compliments and praise, holding the routine for applause etc.

It was also 10 minutes of circus acts, 30 of songs and 20 of compare. Not what I want out of a circus show.

As someone who as seen Brave Space before and is retuning again tomorrow to watch the show for a second time in sad to see this from the same company.

More circus acts, less compare PLEASE!

Campbell Wilson 56 days ago

Both my wife and I were thrilled by the quality of the performances. We absolutely loved each of the acts. There was high wire, rope work, silks, hula hoops, juggling etc interspersed with some great cabaret. What a voice that woman has !

We live in Edinburgh and get out to a lot of shows each year. This was a cracker and a great start to our Festival. All the best to all the artists. You can be very proud of the show you put on this evening.

Removed 46 days ago

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