Great Yarmouth circus delivers the Wow Factor

As the acts lined up for the traditional photocall at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus today there was the expected air of professional calm.

However, circus owner Peter Jay confessed that was almost as big an illusion as the spectacular magic act of France's Vincent Vignaud.

'This has been the most complicated and difficult show to put on ever,' he said.

The illusionist's giant jet engine - the blades of which he escapes in a tense finale to the show - had had to be dismantled just to get it through the doors.

And with bleary-eyed performers arriving from as far afield as Mexico, Columbia and Australia, rehearsals had gone on through the night until 5am this morning.

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Ahead of the summer circus's opening performance at 2.30pm tomorrow Mr Jay said: 'Over the years we have had every conceivable type of act here and I am difficult to please, I am always looking for something new.

'This summer, I have really been searching for acts that make me go 'wow' and I am confident this show is going to be bigger and more thrilling than ever before.'

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He said Vignaud's illusion act would be the biggest ever to take place in the Hippodrome's 108-year history.

He is joined in the ring by Guyanan balancing act, Duo Sankar, who have jetted in from the US where they have been starring in the world-acclaimed Ringling Brothers circus.

Roberto Karlos - described by Mr Jay as 'possibly the world's best juggler' - makes a welcome return to the Hippodrome from his home in Mexico.

Motorbike stunt riders from Columbia perform a hair-raising act inside a giant metal globe while rola rola balancer Sasha Williams, from Australia, has some surprising twists in his madcap performance.

Aerialist Robert Foxhall skilfully uses the Hippodrome's water feature in his routine while comedy duo Jack Jay and Johnny Mac knit the fast-paced show together.

The Estelle Clifton swimmers and dancers complete the line-up.

The circus opens tomorrow and runs until September 18. To book visit or call the box office on 01493-844172.

Find out about all the top events around the area in our Going Out supplement each Friday, or check online at out for regular updates.

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