LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Monday, 10 June 2013

Zippos rides into Scotland - Roman style!

Nicky de Neumann
riding Roman style

The word circus dates from ancient Rome when arenas such as the Circus Maximus were host to hair-raising chariot races.

Zippos will be bringing a touch of the Roman hippodrome to the modern circus when it arrives in Glasgow this week, in the form of Nicky de Neumann’s daredevil horse-riding.
Nicky, seen here riding Roman style, with a foot on each horse, grew up in Croydon where her parents apparently couldn’t afford to buy her a pony, so she learned to ride with the local Gypsies. She’s been putting on a wild show ever since, having even appeared as the gun-toting cowgirl Annie Oakley in a wild west display at Euro Disney.
Joining Nicky in the sawdust circle at Glasgow’s Queen’s Park from June 11 - 16, before the Zippos tent moves on to the city’s Victoria Park (18 -23) and then Edinburgh (26 - 30) are Cuban acrobats and a strongman called Hercules who likes having a car driven over his chest.
There will be more stunt riding - on roaring motorbikes - in the Globe of Death, while Britain’s most distinguished ringmaster, Norman Barrett MBE, presents his famous budgies.
To book your seat, call 0871 210 2100.

The Zippos showgirls waiting to go on.

(Both photos: Piet-Hein Out, courtesy of Zippos)
Backstage at Zippos
But what’s life like behind the red velvet curtain of the Zippos big top?
Read an in-depth interview with showman Martin Burton in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book for Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.
In a chapter on Zippos, Burton talks about:
- His journey from Covent Garden street clown to owner of Britain’s most popular traditional circus.

- The on-going battle with animal rights protestors.

- Behind-the-scenes secrets of BBC1’s Amanda Holden sitcom Big Top.

- His Academy of Circus Arts in which YOU can learn how to be a circus star while travelling around the country putting on shows in a real big top.

Circus Mania is available in paperback or as an ebook from Amazon, or direct from Peter Owen Publishers for £10 including post and packing in the UK (Add £2.75 for overseas orders). Send cheques to:
Peter Owen Publishers
81 Ridge Road
London N8 9NP
And may all your days be circus days!

Coming soon on Circus Mania:
June 15 is World Juggling Day - Read 15 Facts about Juggling on Thursday June 13.
On Monday June 17, roll up, roll up for The Glory Days of Chipperfields - Europe's largest animal circus!

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