Ever wanted to run away and join the circus? Natasha Rushbrooke did just that

PUBLISHED: 12:56 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 29 March 2019

Natasha at the National History Museum

Natasha at the National History Museum

© photograph by David Sandison

People told Natasha Rushbrooke that joining the circus wasn’t a real career. She proved them wrong...

Natasha RushbrookeNatasha Rushbrooke

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I have lived in Norwich since I was born, even if I do eventually move away, it will always be my home.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

There are so many beautiful beaches in Norfolk, such as Wells-next-the-sea and Waxham, which I love to visit any time of year.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

The nightlife is definitely not the most exciting.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

There are many, but I recently went to the Honingham Buck, it is a cosy little pub/restaurant, and the food was delicious.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

In the summer I love to go for an evening walk in one of the many pretty parks, Sheringham park being one of my favourites. There are also so many cosy bars in the centre of Norwich, as well as fun gigs and themed nights at the Waterfront for the cooler evenings.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Blickling Estate has always been somewhere I’ve loved to visit, whether it be for a walk around the lake, or to attend one of the events they often have there.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

For me this has to be the Norfolk and Norwich Festival that happens annually. It includes such a wide range of music, theatre, dance and circus and arts generally, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

What your specialist Mastermind subject?


What is always in your fridge?

Probably some sort of cheese.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Do what you love in life. It is too short to be wasting your time on something that makes you unhappy.

What’s your favourite film?

It is currently Me, Earl and the Dying Girl! It’s not often I love a film as much I loved the book, but in this case I thought the film was just as beautiful.

What was your first job?

I was a gymnastics coach at the Sportspark at the UEA.

What is your most treasured possession?

My dog, if you would class her a possession.

Who do you admire most?

My parents, as I think they have done a pretty good job of raising me, if I do say so myself.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Bubble baths! With bath bombs and salts and all those luxuries.

What do you like about yourself most?

I always try and do everything I can to make the people I care about happy.

What’s your worst character trait?

I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, even when it really isn’t beneficial to do so.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

As a child, my parents would always take me on holiday to Devon, it has this certain feel of nostalgia that I love.

Best day of your life?

There are so many days I could choose from. One of them being the day I had my first ever gymnastic competition, even though I was very young, I still won. I remember how proud all my friends and family were.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on a toasted muffin, but this is definitely a treat breakfast for special occasions.

What’s your favourite tipple?

This changes on such a regular basis, right now it is probably gin.

What’s your hidden talent?

I am quite good at baking, however I never have time to do it so no one would ever know.

When were you most embarrassed?

At one of my first national gymnastic competitions, I managed to achieve not one but two very dramatic falls during a bar routine, there were so many people watching, I was extremely embarrassed.

What’s your earliest memory?

My first memory was when I had just turned two years old, and I went to see my baby brother in hospital after he had just been born. I remember thinking how tiny he was, even though I was also still so very small myself.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Maybe something surprisingly upbeat, like Pencil Full Of Lead by Paolo Nutini, just to lighten the mood.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

For some reason when I was a child, my favourite food was carrots.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

People used to tell me ‘being a circus performer isn’t a real career’ all the time when I was in school, it was so hard not to let this destroy my motivation. And now it is most definitely my career.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?

Not only are you so close to a beautiful busy city with so much life, you are also next to stunning country side and beaches, it’s the best of both worlds.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

I’m really looking forward to bringing Hotel Paradiso to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich on April 9. It will be the first time we’ve performed the rewritten indoor version of the show in the region after touring it around the country and I’m hoping lots of people will come to see it. We’re hoping to take it to the Edinburgh Festival in August and we’ve also got a very special event happening at the Holt Festival in July but that’s a secret at the moment!

To follow Gina Long @geewizzgee1

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