August 2022 | Volume 218


Production image

Tracteur - Photo by Rolline-Laporte.

Cirque Alphonse (Québec)
The Cultch and Vancouver International Children's Festival
Vancouver Playhouse
Sept. 20-24
From $20 or 604-251-1363

Cirque Alfonse brings wild farmyard fun to Vancouver Playhouse this autumn!

The Cultch and Vancouver International Children's Festival are thrilled to present Animal, a new circus show from Cirque Alfonse (Québec), playing at the Vancouver Playhouse, September 20-24, 2022.

Animal is a full-length, multidisciplinary show, which brings together circus, theatre, song and dance, and is perfect for audiences of all ages. 

In this re-invented agricultural world, the farm is turned upside down and the barn turned inside out. A gentleman farmer has surrounded himself with some familiar but slightly outlandish creatures: the chickens have teeth, the ducks are slightly menacing, and the cows are kicking up a fuss. With Animal, the ensemble takes the audience on a journey of discovery through a series of slightly surreal farm fables served up with a touch of irreverence, impressive virtuosity, and the comic touch for which Cirque Alfonse is known.

Cirque Alfonse has been turning heads in the circus world since they founded in 2005. Named for Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, a small municipality in central Québec, Cirque Alfonse is made up of a group of highly-skilled and expertly-trained family and friends who share a love of circus and music. They have toured the world and gained accolades for all their shows, including Animal, which is their fourth major production. Their shows are all invitations to join in the joy of community and connection. As they say, "our shows embody this wish to relive those lively evenings of our childhood filled with the sounds of traditional music for jigs, tap-dancing and playing the spoons, when everyone had a great time dancing the night away." 

"...wonderfully bonkers from the start...Incredible strength and agility with a zany sense of humour" — UK Theatre Web

"Above all there is an incredibly communicative joie de vivre... Because it is again through humour that the Alfonse circus stands out" — Le Devoir

"Mixing circus, dance, theatre and humour, Cirque Alfonse succeeds once again in its challenge of awakening the childlike imagination of the audience" — Samuel Pradier, Journal de Montréal

Production: Cirque Alfonse
Artistic direction: Julie and Antoine Carabinier-Lépine
Director: Alain Francoeur
Original musics and songs: David Simard
Scenography: Nicolas Descoteaux
Light design: Nicolas Descoteaux
Costumes design: Geneviève Beauchamps
Acrobatic props design: Sylvain Lafrénière

Acrobats: Antoine Carabinier Lépine, Julie Carabinier Lépine, Alain Carabinier,
Jonathan Casaubon, Jean-Philippe Cuerrier, Geneviève Morin

Musicians: Josianne Laporte, David Simard, Guillaume Turcotte.

Sound technician: Katie Sweeney
Lights: Jean-François Piché

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 20-24, 2022

SEP 20-24, 7:00 PM
SEP 24, 2:00 PM

WHERE: Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC

TICKETS: Tickets from $20. Child and Family Packs available! Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or

The company, which unites the Carabinier-Lépine family and friends, gets its name from Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, its municipality of origin in Lanaudière. The Québec fibre is central to each Cirque Alfonse creations as the troupe draws on national folklore for themes, to which a modern touch is added.

The Alfonse clan captured the hearts of the public in 2011 with its lumber camp in Timber!, and its electro-traditional cabaret in Barbu in 2014 followed by Tabarnak in 2017. After having toured the globe several times and experiencing worldwide success, the troupe returns to give you an unforgettable time.

The longest-running professional performing arts festival for young audiences and the first of its kind in North America and Europe, the Vancouver International Children's Festival presents the world's finest music, theatre, dance, puppetry, acrobatics and storytelling, as well as creative arts activities for the entire family. Families come from near and far to experience this extraordinary annual arts festival created specifically for children and families. We are dedicated to providing creative, diverse programming that engages and delights our young audience.

Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organization operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, and various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work.

The Cultch is located on the unceded Indigenous land of the xwməϴkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil‑Waututh) Nations.



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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews