Expect the unexpected.
“Amazing vibe & energy, transforming the lives of Cambodian youth”
More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent. Read more about our shows:
A rare glimpse into the wilder side of Cambodian urban life as the rock music makes your heart pound. The artists created the story to share with audiences the kinds of challenges that modern, urban Cambodian young adults face. The owner of a grungy Phnom Penh rock bar and his brother seek profit as customers seek adventure, passion and love in all the wrong places. Khmer Metal is hope, heartbreak, humor and humanity, turning social convention on it’s head.
An edgy, progressive modern tale performed by talented young Cambodians using music, dance, acting and modern circus arts.
Same Same but Different
Through a series of everyday situations, “Same Same But Different” explores the different habits and ways of living between Cambodians and foreign visitors. A sudden downpour, an unexpected power outage, a hectic boat trip and a relaxing dinner all provide the backdrops for funny encounters and opposing perspectives. But in every situation they find understanding and connect at a human level.
How far would someone go to fight back against rejection and bullying? In a rural Cambodian village a disfigured young man is rejected and ridiculed. He wonders why he is cursed and seeks help from the gods. They answer his prayers by transforming him into a beautiful woman. Using this new form, he attracts the attention and desire of the village men. But the villagers quickly discover there’s something sinister about the newcomer in their midst. Based on traditional Cambodian folktales, Eclipse is a story of rejection, revenge, spirit possession and eventual forgiveness set to original music and told through a dramatic mix of theater, Apsara dance and modern circus arts.
Survival of the fittest. Domination. Manipulation. How do we create a place for ourselves in the world? Influence mixes drama, circus and puppetry to explore struggles for power and survival. From primordial organisms battling in pre-historic jungles to an ancient king being manipulated by external forces or a runner tripping his competitors to win a race; all seek to triumph. The characters of Influence dominate and are dominated, trick and are tricked, but ultimately discover their own strength and find unique place in the world.
Sokha is a child haunted by war. Her memories of the Khmer Rouge combine with surreal visions to create a distorted and dark reality. But through circus she discovers her strength and finds the tools to heal both herself and her community. Based on the true life stories of the founders of Phare Ponleu Selpak school Sokha is a powerful mix of contemporary circus techniques, live painting, and original, live music. The show highlights the long term effects suffered by post-war victims and the way art provided a powerful way to heal and rebuild the country. (Photo by Jamie Farrell)
A funny and modern take on traditional Cambodian beliefs, Chills is the story of two ghosts who haunt a group of young students. After a spooky encounter at night, the students are scared and worried that they’ll be haunted forever. So they make a plan. They research ghosts at the school library, create a strategy to get rid of them and pray to the gods for help. But nothing works until they confront their fears and make peace with their new supernatural friends. This contemporary circus show mixes eerie and graceful aerial acrobatics, contortion and other modern circus arts with slapstick humor and a playful live score performed on traditional Cambodian instruments. (Photo by Peter Phoeng)
Tchamlaek is a poetic show which humorously conveys the strange adventures of a family in the pursuit of happiness. In a lively and slightly weird family, the father is suffering, traumatized by the war. With him, the whole family is vulnerable. The sudden arrival of a medium will change their lives. In an attempt to soothe the father, the medium orders the building of a giant house and takes them on a trip to the moon.
Phsong Preng (The Adventure) tells the moving story of a young Cambodian boy who leaves his abusive home in search of a better life. He meets new unusual friends, experiences the dark side of life before being saved by a chance meeting with a band of smart street urban youth, who take him in as one of their own. Bolstered by his adventures, he finally decides he is ready to return home.
Panic takes you backstage to experience what happens when 7 young Cambodian circus artists are suddenly given the opportunity of a lifetime: audition for a world famous circus-theater company. Everything is possible. Everything is allowed. These hopeful stars use improvisation, humor, stress, madness, fear, poetry and circus arts to create the audition that will allow them to fulfill their greatest dreams. Their future lies just beyond the curtain.
Phare, The Cambodian Circus’ shows are inspired by the real-life experiences of its creators and performers and deal with themes such as war, discrimination, relationships, poverty and ghosts. Some performances contain smoke, loud noises, music and strobe lights. Please consult with a member of the ticketing staff if you have any concerns or you have very young children.