Happy 250th Birthday
That really is a birthday to be reckoned with. In 1768 Philip and Patty Astley established the first permanent circular arena on the banks of the Thames, presenting trick riding and acrobatics – creating what we now consider the first modern circus.
Circus is alive and well and thriving. This week I visited Russell’s Circus at the beginning of their 2018 tour. This is a small circus but maintains the traditional form of entertainment- ringmaster, a resident clown, acrobats, jugglers, dancers, trapeze artists and even three formation riding motorcyclists who perform inside a large sphere.
The moment the music starts members of the audience are transported into a magical world of glamour, colour and sound. The mist which fills the arena adds to an atmosphere of mystery, discovery and exploration. Forget your everyday cares and allow the artists to share with you their magical never-never land of skill and fun.
For me full marks go to Rusty the ringmaster who always just manages to keep control and to Benji who gives him the run-around. There’s some daring stuff in there to with fire and the skill of the motorcyclists is breath-taking.
If all circuses entertain like Russell’s the future for the for this medium is certain.
Happy 250th birthday and many of them here in the UK.