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, 12 June 2014

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome summer circus - meet the cast

Going through the archives, I found this great picture of the cast at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, Britain's oldest circus building still used for its original purpose. In the back row, the Flying Neves trapeze troupe - that's their safety net behind them. Below them, from left to right, we have Joseph Micheletty - Diabolist Extraordinaire; rollerskating siblings Alicia and Miguel Peris; aerial straps and German wheel star Denis Remnez; and, in front of them, Ukrainian balancing act the Bio Brothers. At the front are son and father clown team Danny Adams and, in ringmaster guise, Clive Webb, flanked by the Hippodrome Dancers.

The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome
- where the ring becomes a swimming pool
It was this cast that I met when I went backstage at the Hippodrome to write one of the chapters of Circus Mania. So join me in the Hippodrome's spooky 100-year-old corridors to find the Neves family in training and Miguel Peris talking about growing up in the circus; hear the ghost stories; thrill to Danny Adams recreating Houdini's death-defying milk churn escape; watch the circus ring transformed into a pool for synchronised swimming; and go into showman Peter Jay's caravan - which he keeps inside a secret store room.

Elsewhere in the book, come with me beneath the canvas of the Great British Circus to meet tiger trainer Martin Lacey; cringe at the fakirs of the Circus of Horrors; and wonder at the tales of retired ringmaster George Pinder as he relates the history of Britain's oldest circus family.

It's all in Circus Mania - the book the Mail on Sunday called "A brilliant account of a vanishing art form." Click here to buy it from Amazon.

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