Live audience and a giant pirate ship as Hippodrome show returns

Actors onstage at the Great Yarmouth hippodrome with a giant octopus behind them.

The Pirates show will have daily performances from Friday, May 28 until Sunday, June 13. - Credit: Street View Marketing

An award-winning show will be making its return to the Hippodrome at the end of May.

The Hippodrome Great Yarmouth has a limited run of its popular Pirates Live show from Friday, May 28 to Sunday, June 13.

This will be the first time the circus building has been able to open since Christmas eve.

Their award-winning show 'Pirates Live' usually runs over the Easter holidays, but live performances had to be cancelled this year due to lockdown restrictions.

The Hippodrome staff are desperately hoping the grand launch of the summer spectacular will go ahead

Pirates will be the first Hippodrome Great Yarmouth show with a live audience since Christmas eve. - Credit: Archant

The Jay family created a special online film version of the show, which was streamed during the Easter holidays.

Producer and director Jack Jay said: “The response to the online stream was absolutely amazing, people really enjoyed being able to see our famous pirates show, but so many people reached out to express how much they desperately missed seeing it live.

"So, we thought 'why not give people that chance?'.”

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The Pirates show will be performed to a socially distanced audience, with half of the building being consumed by the giant set, which includes a 40-foot pirate galleon.

Building owner Peter Jay said: “We really want to deliver live shows to our amazing audiences whenever and however we can.

Impresario Peter Jay owner of Hippodrome Circus

Peter Jay is delighted the Christmas spectacular at the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth can go ahead when the town moves into Tier 2 restrictions on December 2. - Credit: Nick Warner

"If you are lucky enough to grab some of the limited seats, you'll be in for a real treat.”

The show will see Captain Jack Hawkseye and Pirate Johnny, played by family favourites Jack Jay and Johnny Mac, attempt to defend the port of Great Yarmouth and its treasure against a band of invading buccaneers led by Captain Blackeye, played actor James Franklin.

Jack and Johnny will also be joined by an array of swashbuckling circus performers, dancing port dwellers and mysterious mermaids emerging from the historic Hippodrome water spectacular.

jack jay

Jack Jay, producer and director at the Hippodrome will be dressed in the 'slops' for the Pirates show. - Credit:

The show will have daily performances, but will only have limited seating of around 250 capacity.

Booking in advance will be essential as many performances are expected to sell out fast.

Pirates Live bookings can only be made over the phone through the Hippodrome ticket hotline on 01493 738877, which is open Monday to Friday 11am-4pm.