Meet the Team

Lucy Francis-Litton (Company Director)

  • Professional Aerialist & Acrobat since 1998

  • Head Trainer, Director & Choreographer at ACA

Before life in the Circus, Lucy spent numerous hours either upside down, cartwheeling or leapfrogging EVERYWHERE.  Aged 12 years old, Lucy’s passion of gymnastics grew to obsession.  Transferring over to Sports Acrobatics so she could specialise in Tumbling and group Acrobatics, she soon became a member of the National squad and was National competitor for many years.  Aged 18, in order to continue her training, she specifically moved to Leeds Metropolitan University (Beckett Park Campus) to study for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. The opportunity arose for Lucy to take up High Diving, as a side-line hobby!  Her obsessive nature and determination for perfection, led her to become British Masters High Diving Champion (1998 & 1999).  This gave her a great grounding to become an all-round International Circus Acrobat and Aerialist. 

After a number of gruelling auditions, Lucy was selected to participate in the Circus Training programme for the New Millennium Experience Company, which led into performing in the Millennium Dome Central Show during the year 2000.  Following on from this Aerial spectacular, Lucy learnt Swinging Trapeze and went off to Ibiza for a summer season Swinging in Privilidge Nightclub for The Good Ship Manumission.  In 2002 she had the opportunity to fulfil one of her life-long ambitions, the Flying Trapeze.  After performing in front of The National Theatre and spending the summer flying around in the air, Lucy broke her neck and had to be pinned back together with a metal plate!  Not to be put off by this forced ‘rest’, Lucy fought back to the Circus world, (via the stripping world) and went on to wow audiences all around the World with her spectacular and daring acts.  Alongside her performing career, Lucy teamed up with 3 other Mad Hatter’s to set up a Circus School called AirCraft Circus.  2018 marks the opening of a new circus school, AirCraft Circus Academy, which she runs with her husband Nik.  Lucy also runs AirCraft Circus Performance Company and continues to wow audiences around the globe with new and exciting acts and shows, which she directs and choreographs.  A unique performer, in a league of her own.

Highlight Credits Include: The Greatest Showman Performances 2018, Boudoir Circus & Midsummer Circus at Howthelightgetsin Festival 2018, The Last Supper 2017 at GCF, Boudoir Circus at the Underbelly Festival 2017, Dark Circus Party Halloween Ball 2017, Torture Garden Halloween Ball 2017, Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge 2017, Midsummer’s Night Circus 2016, New Years eve “Parade” 2015 Doha, HowTheLightGetsIn Festival 2015, London Orbit Grand Opening 2014, Wilderness Festival 2014, The Box Soho 2014, London Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012, MTV Awards 2012 Frankfurt, Download Festival 2011, Wella International 2009, Erotica Show Olympia 2005, P&O Cruise: Arcadia Launch Circus Show 2004, Royal Albert Hall 2002, Royal Opera House 2001-2004, Speedo Stage Show 2002, The National Theatre Flying Trapeze 2002, The Good Ship Manumission Ibiza Swinging Trapeze 2001, Adidas Stage Show 2001

Head Trainer: Already a qualified Gymnastics instructor, Lucy started to train people in Circus Arts at the National Centre for Circus Arts from 2001.  She was an aerial and acrobatics trainer for the Degree, Adults, Youth, Corporate and Intro Day programmes, before becoming the Head Trainer for AirCraft Circus Academy in 2010.  With over 20 years teaching experience, if you’re serious about Circus Training then Lucy is your girl!

Nik Litton (Operations Director)

  • Professional Rigging Technician
  • Acrobase & Juggler

Professional Performer, Trainer & Rigger

Nik came late to the circus world.  In 1999, at the age of 32, he moved to London to study on the Circus Space's first BA degree in circus arts.  It was a transformative experience, which paved the way for a life within the UK circus industry.  Nik followed on from his degree, as a catcher with The Flying Dudes, for 2 seasons, as an Acrobalance base with his now wife, Lucy Francis-Litton & as a unicycling/juggling Mad Hatter with Curious Company.  Throughout the early noughties, to make ends meet, Nik mixed performing work with teaching work at the old Circus Space.  Until 2008, Nik was a regular teacher for The Circus Space (now NCCA); on their adult evening programme, youth circus & corporate programme & for 2 years was also a 2-day/week Facilities technician & occasional duty manager.

In 2001, Nik also started working with Alex Frith on a kids' clown show.  Using all of our combined equipment & skills, it soon became evident that we needed a space, in which to train/rehearse.  In April 2002 Nik & Alex co-founded the original Hangar to meet these needs.  This commitment to circus arts has been maintained ever since, in several different guises.  First, from 2002-2007 as the live/work space, The Hangar.  Second, from 2007-2018, as the charity Hangar Arts trust; and the third incarnation of “The Hangar” known as AirCraft Circus Academy, began in 2018, with Nik & Lucy at the helm.

Latterly, with ongoing commitments to the school, Nik has been mainly focused on the rigging of circus.  However, he still performs with his wife Lucy to this day.  Some career highlights include; Submersion at Royal Navel College 2018, Boudoir Circus at the Underbelly Festival 2017, Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge 2017, 'Parade' show New Year's Eve 2015 Doha, Howthelightgetsin Festival 2015 & 2018, Canary Wharf Spiegaltent 2014/15, O2 Arena World Skills 2011 (Acro), Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (Acro), Village Underground (Acro), National Theatre (Flying Trapeze), The Hippodrome, London (Doubles Trapeze & Hoop), performing acrobalance in front of Prince Charles (2004) & Lady Sarah Ferguson (2018) & at the Golden Jubilee at Buckingham palace (2002), teaching flying trapeze to celebrities; Charlie Dimmock, Pennie Smith & Sadie Frost, performing as a juggling/unicycling clown in Pagliacci, at the Royal Opera House (2003), rigging & performing at Download festival (2011), Teeter-board base work for CGI-effects in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (2007), rigging work on Britain's Got Talent (2014), London Olympics closing ceremony (2012), running a circus skills pilot training scheme for Esther Benjamin's Trust in Kathmandu (2010).