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, 17 April 2014

Chaplins Circus brings exciting new concept to the big top

Following my last post about the need for big top shows to offer something special if they're to draw audiences from cosy indoor venues comes news of an exciting new show to tour Britain this year.

Chaplins Circus is a theatrical show about the backstage drama of a 1920s circus and it will be travelling the country in one of the biggest big tops on the road - all the better to accommodate its finale human cannonball stunt!

A poster for the real
Charlie Chaplin's
film The Circus
- which was the 7th
highest-grossing film of
all time.
Chaplins Circus is the brainchild of Charlie Pakdel, a veteran Charlie Chaplin imitator; Mark Foot, who ran away with the circus at the age of 8 and went on to run one of the biggest suppliers of seasonal entertainment to shopping malls; and Gary Stocker, a street entertainer and magician.

The show opens in Highfield Park, St Albans, May 24 - June 1. Info:

Given these PC times, the circus features no animals, which is fair enough, and, because they're deemed too scary, no clowns. But hang on, wasn't Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp a hobo clown?


  1. This was quite possibly the worst event I gave ever been to, and I walked out with my son at half time, disgusted that I had parted with £60.

    1. Would anyone else who has seen this show like to comment on it?

    2. Dear Douglas. Please can you remove that first bad review. It is a lie. The first show we ever performed was at 3pm on 24th May 2014 so this man couldn't possibly have seen the show as he made this post at lunchtime on 24th. Also there is no ticket combination for two persons at £60.00. This is clearly another circus trying to damage our otherwise healthy reputation.

  2. I saw this show tonight with my 4 year old and we both loved it! I was expecting not to enjoy the show at all but I think I enjoyed it just as much as Jack did, if not more! Great concept.

  3. I took my 10 month old and 6 year old to yesterday's performance after the free circus skills workshop and they LOVED it - especially all of Charlie Chaplin's bits. There were plenty of laughs for the adults as well. I was incredibly impressed by how hard the cast worked during the workshop and the show and think it's a unique and innovative idea.