A free outdoor circus show celebrating London's forgotten waterways is coming to Hounslow this weekend.

Cirque Bijou, which has previously worked with the rock group Muse, will team up with Nutkhut to perform Source in Bell Square this Saturday (September 27).

The show, which combines circus skills with dance, theatre and cabaret, tells the story of a group of underground artists living in the capital's sewers and buried rivers.

When cracks start appearing in the earth, threatening their existence, they are forced to go above ground on a quest for a source of pure water.

The show is inspired by comic book superheroes and each character represents a different borough, with a special skill based on that area's watery heritage.

Hounslow, played by Rajib Manandhar, is inspired by the water taxis which plied their trade on the capital's rivers for so many years. His unique gift is an encyclopaedic knowledge of London's river routes.

The bizarre contraption which gives circus show Source its name
 

The show itself harks back to the Big Stink of 1858, when the House of Commons had to stop sitting such was the stench emanating from sewage in the Thames.

The terrible odour led to the creation of Sir Joseph Bazalgette's sewer system which continues to carry our waste water.

Co-director Billy Alwen, of Cirque Bijou, said Source was more than just a spectacle and he hoped it would get viewers thinking.

"People take the sewers under our feet for granted but water is the most important ingredient in our lives," he told getwestlondon.

"London's Victorian sewer system is getting overwhelmed and millions of tonnes of sewage is getting flushed into our rivers every year because it just can't cope.

"Not everyone's happy they're building the new sewer system (the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel, dubbed the Super Sewer, which was approved earlier this month). This is about addressing what's happening under our feet.

"It's also about making people aware how how crucial the rivers and waterways in their communities, many of which have almost been forgotten, used to be to industry."

This Saturday's performance of Source will be the fifth of six taking place across London, from Harrow to Deptford.

In each area, its creators have been working with local youths aged eight to 24 to devise alternative openings specific to that neighbourhood.

The show will be preceded by a parade through Hounslow High Street featuring the imaginary machine after which it is named, the 'Scientific Orienteering Universal River Charting Engine'.

A 'story shop' will also be set up on Saturday, where visitors can exchange their memories of living by the river in Hounslow.

You can get a sneak preview of the show this afternoon (Wednesday, September 24) in Brentford, where excerpts will be performed in the newly refurbished Market Square from 6.30pm.

Source was commissioned by the Circulate Consortium, a collective of six arts centres in London, including Watermans, in Brentford.

* Source, which runs for 45 minutes and is suitable for all ages, will take place in Bell Square, at the east end of Hounslow High Street, this Saturday (September 27) at 2pm. A parade along Hounslow High Street will take place beforehand, from 1pm.