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."

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Eva Garcia's final appearance - Thirteen years ago today

Eva Garcia
She died doing the job
she loved

“You have to really love it to live in the circus. It’s very tough, mentally and physically.” So said Eva Garcia, thirteen years ago.

I was talking to the aerial silk star a couple of days after watching her performance at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. It was the venue’s 100th anniversary season and my first trip to the circus since I was a kid.

Not knowing what to expect I was blown away by the atmosphere of the ancient building, with its ring that transformed into a pool for synchronised swimming, and by the death-defying antics of the performers, not least among them the Valez Brothers and their heart-stopping Wheel of Death.

The world of the ring became fascinating to me, and Eva took me deeper into it, telling me about the tradition that ran through generations of her family, and the hard work, dislocations and operations behind the glamour.

Eva in the Laura Croft
costume she wore in her final
For all the hardships, it was a life she loved, so much so that she had just ended a ten-year relationship with a man who asked her to choose between him and the circus. Eva chose the circus, believing that, at 38, she still had another ten years of performing ahead of her.

The following week, on August 8, 2003, the very day my interview with her appeared in The Stage, Eva fell from the ceiling of the Hippodrome and was killed, during her act.

Eva’s death brought home to me the very real danger that circus performers dice with every day. It made me want to find out more about a breed of entertainer unlike any other.

And so began my journey through the world of the big top, talking to trapeze artists, clowns, sword-swallowers, animal trainers and showmen, about their lives, traditions, superstitions, history and secrets. The result was my book Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book for Anyone who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.

The Mail on Sunday called it “A brilliant account of a vanishing art form.”

This Is Cabaret said “Pack your bags before getting stuck into McPherson’s book; it may leave you yearning to run away with the circus.”

Read it, then go to the circus, thrill to the performers and think of Eva, who died doing the job she lived for, thirteen years ago today.  

Some of the press acclaim for
Circus Mania
Click here to read the coverage
Read more about Eva Garcia in this extract from Circus Mania

Or click here to read the 5-star customer reviews of Circus Mania from Amazon.

Watch Circus Mania author Douglas McPherson talking about Eva Garcia and other stories behind the the book.

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