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, 22 September 2014

Mr Fips Wonder Circus comes to Mildenhall, Suffolk

Horses and sawdust
Mr Fips presents circus
as circus should be





According to Zippos ringmaster Norman Barratt, you're never too young, too old or too cool to go to the circus. That's the difference, I guess, between circus and cirque - where'd you probably have to be quite old and cool to appreciate the mix of gymnastics, dance, mime and abstract theatre.

Circus meanwhile was 'immersive theatre' before the term was trendy. In the big top you enter a magical world of sights, sounds, touch - the feel of grass beneath your feet - and even smells, from popcorn and hotdogs to horses.

Yes, horses. For me, I'm afraid, a night in the big top would no longer be worth a trip without a few animals to keep the circus atmosphere different from every other kind of entertainment. So I'm pleased to say Mr Fips Wonder Circus delivers Andalusian horses and Shetland ponies alongside the contortionist, high wire walker and that childhood crowd-pleaser... a clown car!

Mr Fips' clown car
No circus should leave home without one
According to ringmaster Jan Erik Brenner, also known as Mr Fips the Clown, “We’re trying to make circus more traditional. We want more colour and spectacle, the way it should be seen through a child’s eyes. It’s magical, a whole circus experience and very visually pleasing.

The Fips big top
“We’re trying to bring back the romanticised side of circus – a lot of shows have lost their individuality and we’re trying to bring that back.”

The show is in Mildenhall, Suffolk until October 12. For details call 07719 877422.

"I love this book!"
- Reader review
What's life like for those who run away with the circus? From front row to backstage, read my journey through Britain's big tops - Circus Mania - "A brilliant account of a vanishing art form," - the Mail on Sunday.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Kathy Bates grows beard for American Horror Story: Freak Show



Here's Kathy Bates as you've never seen her before - as a bearded lady in the new series of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Her co-stars include a strong man, a lady with two heads and another with three breasts, in a series set in a carnival of the bizarre in 1952. The show debuts October 5.

But what's life like in a real life freak show? Read a full chapter on the Circus of Horrors and the history of freaks in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away With The Circus! Click here to buy from Amazon.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Britain's biggest circus star!



Who's the BIGGEST star in the big top? How about Circus of Horrors giant Mariusz La Shad who stands a towering 7' 7". Catch him and the rest of the funky freaks on tour now!

Read a full chapter on the Circus of Horrors and the history of freaks in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away With The Circus! Click here to buy from Amazon.