Articles by Paul

Originally from Lancashire in the north of England, Paul Scraton is responsible for Company Communications at The Circus. If you would like to get in contact with him, you can reach him by email at paul.scraton [at]


From yesterday until the 7th September is Berlin Music Week and there are all kinds of events taking place at venues across the city. But we wanted to highlight First Week Take Berlin, which is a showcase of new and up and coming acts hosted by a number of different venues in Kreuzberg. Tickets for the two day event (4th and 5th September) cost €22, and there are way more gigs taking place than we have space for here, so we have picked one of our Circus favourites, who has performed here in the past, and whose music we love very much… Phia.

Here’s her bio from the First We Take Berlin website:

“The Berlin-based Australian uploaded her track “Do You Ever?” to her Soundcloud page in late 2013 and it quickly racked up over 30,000 plays, featuring on MTV’s “Faking It”, receiving regular rotation on Berlin radio and prompting Indie Shuffle to dub her “one of the most underratedof Australia’s musical exports”. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Phia, otherwise known as Sophia Exiner, studied classical and improvised piano at university, before growing restless and moving to Berlin, Germany. Recently invited by Rolling Stone Magazine (Germany) to record a David Bowie cover for a special CD compilation, Phia and her producer Josh Teicher are finishing the mixing of the album this summer, in-between touring and playing festivals.”

Phia is performing at Listen to Berlin @ Fluxbau tomorrow evening, and is due to take to the stage at 9.45pm.

Teenage kicks

One of our favourite literary blogs Love German Books and our friends at Slow Travel Berlin are launching a new literary event next week at the ACUD club – just around the corner from Rosenthaler Platz. It looks like a fun evening of readings followed by the excellently named DJ Döner Summer on the decks… see you there?

an evening with Brittani Sonnenberg and Christiane Neudecker

Two writers – one American, one German, both with teenage protagonists. How do they create believable characters without getting patronizing or embarrassing? How do they capture the language and the lives of their teenage narrators? What’s the hardest thing about drawing on your own youth as literary material? And are teenagers the same the world over?

Brittani Sonnenberg will read from Home Leave and Christiane Neudecker will give us a sneak preview of her work-in-progress, Sommernovelle, with English translation – all in conversation with translator extraordinaire Katy Derbyshire.

Stick around afterwards for drinks and conversation with musical kicks selected by DJ Döner Summer: soul, funk, electronica, chill out, experimental and lit-beats.

Tuesday, 9 September, 8 p.m.
ACUD Club (rear Hof)
Veteranenstraße 21, Berlin-Mitte
€ 3 on the door

Facebook Event Page

Circus co-owner Tilman Hierath has been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge… the only problem is, that is a very nice suit he is wearing and so he decided to take a different approach inspired by a certain actor out there. The ALS Association website is here… and we nominate everyone to do what they can for whichever cause is closest to them, whether it is time, money or raising awareness. Prost!

Yep… watch the video if you don’t believe us… and have a read of this from Jurgen, one of the lucky (or crazy) gang that found themselves falling out of the sky somewhere in Brandenburg…

If you do not know what to do with your time in Berlin you can always jump out of an Airplane. Jumping out of an airplane? Yes you heard it right! Our friends of GoJump in Gransee convinced us that jumping out of an airplane is the coolest thing you will ever do in your life. We were a bit skeptical but nevertheless decided to check it out. I can tell you it was one of the coolest experiences in our lives!

Together with our hostel owner Jim, our crazy bartender Ally, the lovely receptionist Veronika and our cool Designers Julia and Sandra we took the train from Berlin Hauptbahnhof towards Gransee. The brave Julia had no clue what we were going to do until the morning we left. Did I already mention we were afraid? We were very afraid! I have never experienced such a weird form of anticipation.

However, all our fears were taken away the moment we met the GoJump crew. After a short trip on the train, they picked us up from the train station Gransee and before we knew it, we were already making jokes again. After some formalities we immediately went on with the real stuff. After a short but very comforting introduction about the place we went on to put on our hip jumpsuits.

Every single one of us got an assigned tandem partner, the guy or girl that is hanging on your back and is basically doing all the work. The crew of GoJump exists of a group of professional passionate Skydivers, whose aim is to get as many people experiencing jumping out of an airplane as possible. If there were any fears left, they were all taken away by our tandem partners. Such a lovely and funny crew.

The next step was the actual skydive instruction. We thought we would go through an extensive training, but in fact the introduction was very short. They ended with a wicked smile and the words: “don’t worry, everything will be alright, you will see”.

And we did! All that was left to do was stepping into a (hypermodern) airplane and enjoy the view. Our tandem partners made some “scared of death” videos and photos of us, to share with our friends and families. Before we knew it, we were at 4000 meters high.

Afterward it all happened very fast. The door went open and first the professionals jumped out. Then it was time for us to jump. Every 30 seconds one of us would jump out with 220 km per hour. The instructions proved to be sufficient. We moved to the opening of the airplane, put our legs around the edge and our head on the shoulders of our tandem partners.

The moment you jump out of an airplane is amazing! The first few seconds you have absolutely no idea what is going on, but after a while you get to enjoy the full explosion of adrenaline for almost a minute. After the parachute opens the feeling changes to something, I think, comes very close to absolute freedom. The tandem partners let you steer the parachute around and this creates yet another fantastic feeling. After exactly 9 minutes you are back on your feet again.

After a good period of celebrating we were still alive and hugging each other, we got to see our photo and video footage. The result is hilarious. The rest of the day we could do nothing else than smile and feel happy.

So, if you would also like to experience something that is almost as cool as meeting David Hasselhof in real life, go and join GoJump and jump out of an airplane.

Thank you GoJump for this amazing life changing experience!


Jurgen and The Circus Crew

PS. Here are some more pics from the day… and don’t forget to check out the GoJump website











On the 18th October 2014 four members of the Circus team – Jonathan, Sam, Jan and Annika – will be taking part in the Krassfit Challenge to test not only themselves, but to raise some money for the Schülerpaten Berlin, a mentoring project here in Berlin that Circus has been supporting over the past year or so. Of course, to run thirteen kilometres over a variety of obstacles is not easy, and so our fantastic four need to get in training…

…and this is where you come in! Every Wednesday morning from now until the event on the 18th October, our Krassfitters will be running a stretch of the Berlin Wall here in Berlin as part of their preparations. The route is about seven kilometres, door-to-door from the Circus Hostel, and takes you past some of the principle Berlin Wall sights, including the Memorial and the Documentation Centre on Bernauer Straße, a watchtower that now houses a museum to Günther Litfin, the first person killed attempting to cross the Wall, and other sites of memory from the period in which Berlin was divided.

Jonathan, alongside Circus colleagues Paul and Jared , tested the route out this morning… and if you want to join in the fun, and see some historical sights along the way, the runners will be meeting each Wednesday morning at 9.30am in the Circus Hostel reception. A great way to start the day, and also you will be helping to motivate our brave team as they get ready for what promises to be one heck of a challenge. You can follow their progress here on the blog, and Jonathan will be writing something for us in the next few days to explain a little more about what Krassfit is all about… for now, take a look at some pics from our running route:








Coming up in our neighbourhood on Saturday is the fourth instalment of the Torstaßen Festival, taking place at venues along and close to the street that runs past both the Circus Hostel and the Circus Hotel:

“In cooperation with the venues, cafés, shops and bars in our neighborhood we present a musical matinee showcase with a current leftfield and cross-genre soundtrack. We see ourselves and our festival goers as explorers, who are not afraid to trust their curiosity instead of big headliners. We strive to be a forum for current and relevant development within Berlin’s music scenes: for locals, transients and their influencers.”

To join in the fun, you will need a ticket (€13 in advance, €15 on the day) which works as a pass to all participating venues. At the same time, other places in the neighbourhood are joining in the fun as “partycipants”, offering up a varied programme of side events and other fun and games.

At the Circus Hostel we will be hosting a special Pop Quiz in honour of the Torstraßen Festival, which will take place downstairs at Katz & Maus on Saturday evening from 9pm (admission for this is free). So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pop culture brainiac, know your Backstreet from your Beastie Boys and your Flaming Lips from your Falco, then come and have a go at the quiz… it is hosted by Ally, our very own Queen of Pop, and there are some funky prizes to be won.

So… struggling with the local lingo? Need a bit of help to tell your Bratwurst from your Bratkartoffel? Never fear, because Jimbo is here! Now, our very own Jimbo might have been born within a Peter Schmeichel throw of Old Trafford on the edge of sunny Manchester, but he has been here in the German capital for fifteen years and during that time he has done daily battle with the German language… the result has been a honour-filled scoring draw, and so who better than to put together a very special podcast with the most important phrases you will need during your time with us in the German capital. Thankfully, he enlisted the help of Lisa in creating his very special non-essential guide to the German language, so have a listen for yourself… after all, you might even learn something.


We are extremely pleased to announce the details of the next  Circus Talks evening in cooperation with the ZeitZeugenBörse (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History) which will be taking place on Tuesday 26th August in Fabisch at the Circus Hotel.

Alexander Longolius was born in Berlin in 1935, two years after the Nazis came to power and four before the outbreak of World War II. In the early 1950s he went on a school exchange to the United States, before studying in Berlin. He has been strongly involved in Berlin politics, and was a member of the Berlin Senate (state legislature), as well as being the Chairman of the executive board of the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation.

In 2005 he was awarded the German Order of Merit in recognition of his work for German-American friendship. He has lived in Berlin through the war, the Allied occupation, the division of the city and its eventual reunification, and he will be coming to the Circus to share his experiences of the last 79 years. It promises to be another fascinating evening, and we are really excited to welcome Mr Longolius to the Circus and hear the thoughts of someone who has lived through and been a participant in the modern history of the city.


Eyewitness History Talk with Alexander Longolius
Tuesday 26th August 2014, 6pm
Fabisch at The Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Str. 1, Berlin-Mitte
U-Bahn Rosenthaler Platz

The talk is open to all and is in English. Admission is free, and we will be collecting contributions for the ZZB to help them continue in their important work

Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F015843-0016 / Schmitt, Walter / CC-BY-SA

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