Christmas Circus

STEPHEN PULLINGER Hippodrome Circus, Yarmouth


>Hippodrome Circus,Yarmouth

It ought to be available on prescription as a post-Christmas hangover cure.

Two hours of original comedy and breathtaking acrobatics and artistry combine in a recipe unique to Yarmouth's Hippodrome.

Since it started 55 years ago, growing legions of fans have discovered Peter Jay's Christmas circus as the perfect way to keep the festive feeling going.

The atmospheric Hippodrome was built more than 100 years ago but this is circus for the 21st century, the Jays refreshing the genre with exciting music and lighting.

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And this season's show offers a tiny bit of extra magic - in the shape of the irrepressible Pityu, from Hungary.

Standing at only 2ft 7in, "the world's smallest superstar" wins over the audience with his giant personality and swiftly shows he's no novelty act by performing an original balancing and headstand routine.

The return of Henri 'The Prince of Clowns' was warmly welcomed by a packed Christmas Eve Hippodrome, the comic showing himself to be the master of involving the audience in hilarious routines.

The Ganbat Troupe from Mongolia demonstrated their unique brand of acrobatics including a mind-boggling three-man-high rope-skipping routine, and the Ayalas brought South American verve to the high wire.

A graceful double aerial silks routine was beautifully choreographed with modern music, while the Mysterious Wildman took the aerial route in a rather more rumbustious way during a jungle finale, which uses the Hippodrome's special water feature.

As always, the fast-moving show was punctuated with appearances by the slick Estelle Clifton Dancers and, at the end, by the Jan Baines Show Swimmers. And in what has become a Christmas tradition, youngsters performed from the Hippodrome-based dance and circus school, Dance Estelle.

With some shows already sold out you would be well advised to book your new-year pick-me-up.

t The circus runs until January 8. Adults: £14, £12.50 and £10; Children: £9 and £7; Pensioners: £9 for all seats. Call the box office on 01493 844172.

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