Image: Glen O'Malley

Circa Cairns


In 2022, Circa Cairns was established as one of the few First Nations-led professional circus ensembles, committed to creating great art from the nexus of culture and place. Based in Regional Far North Queensland, Circa Cairns is supported by Australia’s leading performing arts exporter, Circa, which has brought Queensland creativity to the world.

Fuelled by values of thrilling, challenging and connecting, Circa Cairns’ diverse team (featuring a majority of First Nations artists) creates, presents and tours new circus productions and innovative engagement programs. Led by proud Wakka Wakka man, Harley Mann, the company tells urgent First Nations stories that are created with community on country.

Supported by Circa and Yaron Lifschitz, Harley and the Circa Cairns team already have a reputation for creating stand-out, critically acclaimed productions, and are on track to be an influential force in Australian contemporary circus.

Culture and process are at the heart of what they do. They engage their communities to invite, excite and explore what is possible in circus.


Over the past year, our First Nations-led circus ensemble under the guidance of Wakka Wakka man Harley Mann has been refining their artistic process in search of stories that are heart-warming and urgent, and reflect the magnitude of their ambition.

THE WET is one of these stories. Conceived on country across Far North Queensland in response to the landscape and endless yarns with community, THE WET takes a deep look into country during a misunderstood time. Uncle Jade Kennedy refers to country as ‘the intimate, interconnected relationships between all things’, and it’s these relationships, these moments of connection that we observed and percolated into THE WET.

You don’t know Far North Queensland if you haven’t experienced THE WET. From the moment the green ants journey to higher ground till the final breaking of the storm, THE WET connects you to place and immerses you in the hot damp. Drawing on these ancient stories of the wet tropics, this dynamic acrobatic show thrills and transports. THE WET is powerfully enduring circus, dripping with culture.

Directed by Harley Mann, THE WET has a medium-size footprint with five performers on stage, bringing to life a work of modern cultural importance. With the support and infrastructure of Circa, we intend for THE WET to have a massive touring life nationally and within targeted tropic countries.

A beautifully paced story ebbing and flowing between moments of frenetic action and serene calm… Surpassing previous shows and performance levels with tricks of mounting difficulty… Mixing up feats of strength with precise controlled sequences.” – Arts Hub