Circus AU

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Tropes and genres
Related tropes/genresHistorical AU, High School AU, College AU, Noir Detective AU, Prison AU
See also
Story banner by inderpal for Radiant Under Every Sort of Light (2009)
Related articles on Fanlore.

Circus AUs are a popular trope in fanfic and sometimes fanart. Using a circus as a setting means introducing the characters to each other in a close-knit community. That can help break down barriers between them and make them bond together against the outside world which may not understand them as well as the other characters do. It also brings a sense of adventure and the idea that this world may have different rules and everything is possible.

A circus can also be a good place for characters to go undercover and meet the love of their lives.


  • Harlequin Airs by Ellis Ward (The Professionals, 1993). Summary: "CI5 agent Ray Doyle is sent undercover as a flyer in a small circus near Newcastle. As a disguise, Doyle's hair is straightened and he grows a beard. The catcher is an enigmatic man called Bodie."[1]
  • Radiant Under Every Sort of Light by zarah5 (Merlin, 2009). Author's summary: "Just your everyday Circus AU. Or: In which there are aerialists, decorative metal flowers, prejudices, artsy books and magic. Obviously."


  1. ^ Mini Review by Nell Howell. Harlequin Airs by Ellis Ward. (Accessed 08 October 2011)