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Lucky Pigeons - UK Tour Interview

Offering a high-flying, high-energy venture for the whole family, beloved circus company Brainfools are adorning their colourful wings and taking Lucky Pigeons on tour. Using polished contemporary circus skills and irresistible charm, this production tells a surreal fable about the pecking order of urban society, featuring jaw dropping juggling to dazzling aerialist tricks and lifts!

Lucky Pigeons follows a young businesswoman struggling to keep up with the non-stop helter-skelter of the big City. When she loses her corporate job, she takes her frustration out on the ever-present population of the city streets: pigeons. Conjuring the unearthly world of a flock of energetic, colourful and curious pigeons, birds of a feather flock together as her Saville Row suit turns to iridescent feathers and she grows a beak. She discovers a playful, misunderstood world from a bird’s eye view.

Brainfools is a new grassroots circus company telling social stories with a light-hearted energy, started by Finn Burnett Pope and Toffy Paulweber. What began as two people has so far grown to a collective of acrobats, dancers, puppeteers, musicians and artists. The company explores new and innovative pathways to bring thrills, spills, and chills of live circus performance that engage a little deeper with societal issues and spark some thought and change.

Lucky Pigeons is a deeply soulful story devised in response to witnessing the dehumanising of marginalised groups in London, told through daring aerials and mesmerising acrobatic feats.

We caught up with the team behind the show to learn more.

Where did your career begin?
We all have different journeys—some of us went to circus school, dance school, or youth circus. We joined forces here in London, where our paths converged like birds of a feather.
How did you approach making a career in performing?
After COVID and just finishing circus school, Toffy and some friends realized there weren't many jobs. So, we decided to wing it and start our own company. Now, Toffy is one of the founders and co-director with Jared who joined later after meeting at No-Fit State’s Circus Village.
What can you tell me about Lucky Pigeons?
'Lucky Pigeons' is a modern fairytale featuring giant pigeons, a struggling hero, and loads of acrobatics. It's a high-flying adventure you won't want to miss!
How would you describe Brainfool’s style to anyone unaware of your work?
Thoughtful stories told through silly circus. We blend humour and depth to create an unforgettable experience.
How important is it to combine both the storytelling aspects with the circus skills?
It is very important to us to have the storytelling aspects integrated as we feel it is what gives our circus skills wings to convey meaningful messages.

How do you get into the headspace for a performance?
We warm up as a group, go through our tricks, play theatre games, and get into a playful mood. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between focus and fun.
How do you maintain yourself during a run?
Lots of rest, a balanced diet, and staying active keep us in top form. Plus, we support each other like a tight-knit flock.
If you could have dinner with 3 guests, who would you invite and why?
We’d invite our Director, Sean Kempton, for his fun and creative spirit. Alongside him, we'd love to have Tom Rack, the legendary director of No-Fitstate, for his daring stories, and Vicki Amedume, the founder of Upswing, for her inspiring work in contemporary circus.
What keeps you inspired?
We get inspiration from everywhere—nature, theatre, dance, social media, and books. But social themes are what keep us grounded.
What do you hope an audience takes away from seeing Lucky Pigeons?
We hope they reflect on the dehumanisation of marginalised groups and realise that a little empathy can go a long way in making our society a better place.
Where can an audience see Lucky Pigeons and follow the journey beyond?
We will be touring this summer through 12 venues across the UK. Check our website for dates and locations, and follow us @brainfools on social media to stay updated on our latest adventures and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Don't miss out—our journey is just taking flight!

Lucky Pigeons are on tour in 2024 playing at Wandsworth Arts Fringe (23rd June), Basingstoke Festival (29th and 30th June), Warwick Schools Foundation HOME Festival (6th July), The Coro Family Circus Day (10th August), Pocklington Arts Centre (21st - 26th October 2024). 

You can find out more information from their website at

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