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Hippodrome Circus Summer Spectacular review: A Great Yarmouth delight whatever the weather

PUBLISHED: 18:17 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:53 19 August 2018

Many of the acts taking part in the opening sequence of the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Many of the acts taking part in the opening sequence of the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus Summer Spectacular is an absolute delight, whatever the weather. Roll up, roll up for a show that you’ll remember forever.

Anyone would be blown away by this year’s incredible Hippodrome Circus summer show, but I feel qualified to say that this year’s two-and-a-half hour show is the best I’ve seen yet, and I think I’ve only missed one of the venue’s shows since 1998.

Easter, summer, Halloween and Christmas, I’ve been there for them all, and they’ve all been fabulous, but this year’s show just edges it – what a way to celebrate the 115th anniversary of circus in the building and the 250th anniversary of circus as a form of entertainment.

Owned by Peter Jay, managed by Ben Jay, talent scouted by Christine Jay and led from the ring by producer, director and star Jack Jay, the Hippodrome is a real family affair and the love the Jays have for their building, their circus and the shows they put on is evident in every single minute of this fast-paced, thrilling rollercoaster of a show.

Opening to Mr Blue Sky by ELO on a day when the sky was anything but, we were introduced to a truly international line-up which included Mexican juggler Roberto Carlos, Brazilian breathtaking balance act Dupla Mao Na Roda, from Australia and Japan the incredible flying trapeze act The Flying Aces, the acrobatic Team Romanovskyi from Ukraine, Britain’s Got Talent’s finalist Sascha Williams, Canadian aerialist Eric McGill and, of course, the funniest of co-hosts lent to Great Yarmouth every year by Scotland, Johnny Mac.

Double act, ringmaster Jack Jay and comedian Johnny Mac, at the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDouble act, ringmaster Jack Jay and comedian Johnny Mac, at the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In the historic Hippodrome, it’s like mining for gold in a glitter mine as act after act amazes, confounds and leaves audiences on the edge of their seat as they watch death-defying acts and showmanship that leaves you breathless: Sascha balances on a series of flaming, tottering tubes blindfolded, the Flying Aces glide in the top of the building in blue and silver suits looking as if they could touch the stars, Roberto juggles seven balls deftly…from his mouth.

I loved Team Romanovskyi and their double bar routine and Eric McGill’s grace on the trapeze and, as ever, Jack and Johnny were a treat to watch, their natural rapport builds every year and they lead the show with such warm humour that it carries the audience along on a wave of sheer happiness for hours.

Stealing the show, however, were Dupla Mao Na Roda, who use a blend of acrobatics and drama to create an act that instantly sears itself into the memory: Rafael Ferreria was born with congenital arthorgryposis and uses a wheelchair, but refuses to let his physical limitations hold him back when it comes to acrobatics.

With partner Alan Pagnota, the pair’s beautiful routine is a delight to behold, and the first time the pair have appeared in Europe. Wonderful.

Eric McGill at the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEric McGill at the Hippodrome Circus Summer Show at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And I haven’t even mentioned the water spectacle. Or the dancers. Or the swimmers. Or the trampolining. Or the tumbling. Or the fireworks. Or the lighting. Or the drumming. Or the crocodile…you’ve got until September 16 to see it all for yourselves. Go. Visit www.hippodromecircus.co.uk for more details and how to book.

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