As the travelling circus season comes to an end, what sort of acts would you like to see in next year’s shows? Zippos asked its patrons that question on its Facebook page and among calls for a human cannonball, tightrope and globe of death, it’s clear that animals remain a priority. Here are some of the replies (each from a different respondent):
“Elephants and big cats and maybe some exotics.”
“A dog act would be good.”
“Plenty of horses and some lions too please.”
“An elephant would be nice.”
A further 10 of the 32 replies expressed a desire to see again the horses and budgies that are a staple of the Zippos experience. In the chapter on Zippos in my book, Circus Mania, showman Martin Burton said he introduced animals to his circus because of popular demand after ten years of operating as an all-human show. He added he had a policy of featuring only domestic animals, never wild ones. But in a time of a looming ban on wild animals in the circus, it's interesting that the demand to see them is still there from some fans at least.
Zippos Christmas Circus will be at Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park from 21 November to 4 January.