Pirates are invading Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus

Gorleston company 3D Creations in the process of assembling a giant pirate ship at the Hippodrome ah

Gorleston company 3D Creations in the process of assembling a giant pirate ship at the Hippodrome ahead of the new Easter pirate water show.Jack Jay at the Hippodrome.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus has never looked quite like this in its 111 years of history.

Staff from Gorleston firm 3D Creations have built pirate towns in the West Indies for the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and erected giant West End sets – but squeezing a giant galleon into the ring was a totally new challenge.

The striking vessel was brought into the circus in 35 sections and put together, in the words of creator Ian Westbrook, 'like an Ikea flatpack'.

Hippodrome boss Peter Jay has commissioned the galleon for his first Easter production – the Easter Pirate Special – the script for which has been written by his son Jack and Scottish comic partner Johnny Mac.

The two-hour show will combine theatre, comedy and circus skills with a 12-strong cast of acrobats and aerial artists joining Jack and Johnny.

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Mr Jay, who runs his distinctive brand of circus shows in the summer and at Christmas, said: 'We wanted to do something different and give people a reason to come to Yarmouth over Easter. It is about trying to extend the season for the whole resort.'

After two weeks of rehearsals the show will run from April 5 to 21.

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The aim is to make it an annual event and Mr Jay said early feedback to the idea had been tremendous.

'Our bookings for the show are four times what they would normally be at this time,' he said.

Mr Westbrook said it had been an unusual venture for his company – 'We have not done much work locally until now' – and it had taken two-and-a-half months to design, build and paint the pirate ship.

The finishing touches to the galleon and the addition of giant masts were being completed over the weekend.

Are you putting on a show? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

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