Khmer Metal presents a rare glimpse into the wilder side of Cambodian urban life as the Khmer 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.

The artists of Khmer Metal believe that many visitors already know about Khmer Rouge, Angkor Wat or poverty in Cambodia, but few know about the challenges that modern, urban Cambodian young adults face. Khmer Metal is their expression of their experiences where young adults often go: a Phnom Penh rock bar. Bar owner and staff try to make a living, sometimes in devious ways. Patrons want to see and be seen. A young couple both keeping an eye out for other possible romantic targets, regardless of same or opposite gender.

Original Khmer Rock Music

Musicians rocking the stage, hoping to get paid. Khmer Metal is edgy, provocative, unconventional and a whole lot of fun. It’s also very real in the Cambodian experience.

An edgy, progressive modern tale performed by talented young Cambodians using Khmer rock music, dance, acting and modern circus arts.

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“Just don’t go expecting traditional art forms, tastefully and modestly executed. Khmer Metal is in-your-face and contemporary, and the more exciting for it.”

Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

“It’s an impressive 60-minute thrill ride.”

Jay Handelman, Herald Tribune

“The performance is nothing short of vibrant. …….., the package of acting, improvisation, live musical performance and dance is clever, charming and awe-inspiring.”

Danielle Carson, Long Beach Post

“… an edgy, alternative, down-to-earth, all singing-and-dancing Cambodian circus in the tradition of Cirque du Soleil … accomplished in acrobatics, contortion, aerial ballet, balancing, tightrope walking, fire dancing, vaulting, juggling, music, dance, drama, mime and comedy. Their show, Khmer Metal, about love, life and rock ‘n’ roll, is set over the course of one night in a crazy bar and its edge-of-the-seat stuff.”

Lara Dunston, for CNN



Production I < ALL PRODUCTIONS PONLEU SAMNANGA young woman, Ponleu Samnang, lost her parents to the Khmer Rouge. An elderly man living in a pagoda taught art to Samnang and the other youth of her village, to help heal after the war. The story is inspired by the...


Production I < ALL PRODUCTIONS KHMER ANGKOR VILLAGEArtists portray daily life in a rural, Cambodian village. Through drama, dance, live music and circus, they express how traditional values, culture and Buddhist beliefs guide personal and community relationships. ​...


Production I < ALL PRODUCTIONS WHITE GOLD In the Khmer language, “nourishment” cannot be expressed without the word “rice”. Cambodians are born, live, work and die in the rice fields. Rice is eaten morning, noon and night. Rice represents the richness of Cambodia...

NOTE: 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 & Khmer rock music and strobe lights. Please consult with a member of the ticketing staff if you have any concerns or you have very young children.