Tell Me [working title]

Sadiq Ali

Circus, Dance, Theatre

A performer wearing all black is moving with a sheer red sheet that is dramatically draped over their face and right arm.

A contemporary circus and movement work that uses Chinese poles and acrobatics to beautifully explore a narrative around HIV and overcoming stigma. Tell Me will look at the power of group dynamics and community in bringing people together and breaking down barriers to intimacy, touch and human connection.

Chinese Poles are an acrobatic circus discipline which we use to climb, dance and perform feats of acrobatics,  and we will use these to perform a colourful, intersectional  narrative about overcoming social barriers and the power of touch and intimacy.

The work is conceptually devised from the lead artist’s experience of being diagnosed with HIV and the impact that had on him, those around him, and their decisions to support or distance themselves from him.  While it’s still in the early idea development stage, we imagine this will be a piece of work that is movement based, visually beautiful, non text based, and suitable for all ages.

About Sadiq Ali

Sadiq Ali is a Scottish born mixed heritage circus artist.  

His first experiences of circus began in a youth circus in Edinburgh before he pursued an early career in participation and human rights work. Working for Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Sadiq has always promoted the importance of play and human/children’s rights in different aspects of his work.  

Rediscovering his own sense of play at the age of 22, Sadiq undertook a short introductory course in aerial circus at Greentop Circus in Sheffield and then auditioned for the London based National Centre for Circus Arts. Having no real experience of the arts prior to this Sadiq found the opportunity and place to express himself through his circus work and and graduated with a BA (hons) in Circus Arts.  

Working professionally since then his theatrical circus art portrays issue-based narratives that stem largely from his life experiences and the challenging intersections of class, religion, identity and sexuality.  

In 2016 Sadiq won the MR Gay GB competition and represented the UK at Mr Gay World in Malta. He used this platform to pursue work around HIV and de-stigmatisation and has worked extensively alongside charities like the Terrance Higgins Trust and GMFA.  

In 2018 Sadiq toured with internationally acclaimed circus company Ockhams Razor and was a cast member of their show Tipping Point 

Since the pandemic Sadiq has been touring his debut theatre work for adult audiences The Chosen Haram which has been receiving 5 star reviews and making waves in the UK contemporary circus scene.  


‘Sadiq Ali creates an astonishing fusion of circus and storytelling’

(Fest Mag – 5 Star Review)

Funding, commissioning and partner credits:

Administration and Production Support, Vee Smith.
Turtle Key Arts – Production support.
Rishi Trika – Dramaturg.
Alex Harvey – Rigging Consultant.
Other Chinese Pole and circus artists TBC.
Tell Me is supported by Without Walls Blueprint R&D and Arts Council England.