Skip to main content

Albert & Friends Instant Circus (Established 1983)



Albert & Friends Instant Circus (A&FIC) is a contemporary social circus charity based in London, that works with children and young people with physical and learning difficulties, problem children and excluded youths to develop their potential through circus and the physical arts.

Their aims are to inspire and celebrate individual achievement through innovative learning and the development of diverse skills, aptitudes and experiences which challenge, influence and change life expectations and unlock individual potential. They have also been involved in plans to combat childhood obesity through circus skills.

The company was founded in London in 1983 by Ian Scott Owens (aka Albert the clown) and Petrea Owens (aka Trea) and has gained worldwide recognition for its highly skilled, innovative circus theatre performances. Its reputation and performance schedule extend to New York, Paris, Rome, Frascati, Edinburgh, Beijing, Hamburg, Ljubljana, Maastricht and Adelaide. A&FIC has developed from a local summer project in 1983, to a voluntary youth organisation in 1988, to a registered Charity in 1997. Trea established A&FIC as a model of good practice in both youth circus and circus arts education gaining Arts Council England recognition in 2004 and National Portfolio Organisation status in 2012.

Albert has also worked with Melcombe Primary School in Hammersmith and has created a curriculum for circus skills to be taught in schools for a variety of lessons including Maths and History for Key Stage 1-3.

Albert and Trea also created the biennial London International Youth Circus Festival in 2004 providing a platform for young people to perform on the world stage.

A&FIC has played a pivotal role in creating both Circus Works, the national UK network for youth circus organisations, and the European Youth Circus Organisation, of which Trea is President. Trea has contributed considerably to the development of the Sector both in the UK and Europe.