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Circus spectacle takes audiences on a 250 year journey

PUBLISHED: 12:30 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:56 30 March 2018

Foolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus.
The show is being performed at Wroxham Barns,
Photo: supplied by Foolhardy Circus

Foolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus. The show is being performed at Wroxham Barns, Photo: supplied by Foolhardy Circus

supplied by Foolhardy Circus

Roll up, roll up for a special show taking audiences on an extraordinary journey through 250 years of circus.

The original Foolhardy Folk Clown Troupe line-up from 1986 - Will Chamberlain, Mike Folk, Cosmo Hardy and Joe Fool.
Photo: supplied by Foolhardy CircusThe original Foolhardy Folk Clown Troupe line-up from 1986 - Will Chamberlain, Mike Folk, Cosmo Hardy and Joe Fool. Photo: supplied by Foolhardy Circus

Norwich troupe Foolhardy Circus have set up their big top at Wroxham Barns where they are presenting their new show Whoops! which is honouring this landmark year for the art form.

It will be one of many celebrations taking place in 2018 as Norwich, along with Great Yarmouth, is one of six Cities of Circus picked to be the focus of the Circus250 anniversary festivities.

Foolhardy Circus have been delighting audiences for more than 30 years and it is their 5th year of entertaining the crowds at Wroxham Barns.

Cosmo Hardy, who has been clowning for 35 years and co-founded the Foolhardy Folk Clown Troupe, is Foolhardy Circus’ artistic director.

Foolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus.
Pictured is Sue La-La on aerial silks.
Photo: supplied by Foolhardy CircusFoolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus. Pictured is Sue La-La on aerial silks. Photo: supplied by Foolhardy Circus

He comes from a long line of performers and his son Lucas is also following in his Foolhardy footsteps and performing in Whoops!

Cosmo said: “This year’s show is a beautifully crafted journey through circus history, in honour of the countrywide Circus250 celebrations.

“Featuring period costumes, including a traditional whiteface clown rarely seen these days, audiences will also see a 250 year old clown, tumbling, aerial splendour, nine club juggling, bucketfuls of slapstick humour, and a frantic Keystone Cops chase scene finale - watch out for the water!

“The show features a historical narrative throughout, so it is both informative and fun, leaving the public in no doubt that this year is a special year for circus indeed.”

Foolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus.
Pictured is Foolhardy Circus' artistic director Cosmo Hardy playing CozBoz the Flea Circus Owner from 2016.
Photo: supplied by Foolhardy CircusFoolhardy Circus' new show Whoops! is celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus. Pictured is Foolhardy Circus' artistic director Cosmo Hardy playing CozBoz the Flea Circus Owner from 2016. Photo: supplied by Foolhardy Circus

The history of modern circus can be traced back to 1768 when the showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle on the ground of an abandoned patch of land near London’s Waterloo and filled it with astounding physical acts including jugglers, acrobats, clowns, strongmen and bareback riders. This spectacle was said to be the world’s very first modern circus, and its 250th anniversary in 2018 is being marked by the UK-wide celebration Circus250.

• Foolhardy Circus will be performing Whoops! at The Big Top at Wroxham Barns until Sunday, April 15. Shows are twice daily at 12pm and 2pm. Tickets £6.50 (under 2s free). For more information, visit www.wroxhambarns.co.uk and www.foolhardycircusarts.org


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