Circus Ricardo

CAROLINE CULOT Ketts Park, Wymondham


Ketts Park, Wymondham

Going to the circus in this country usually means waiting for the latest tour of an internationally acclaimed troupe charging ridiculously high prices.

So what an absolute delight that the Circus Ricardo is in Norfolk to breathe life into what has become rather a dying art form in Britain.

This talented team of 12 has put together two different shows comprising various circus skills on a small scale but with their own brand of humour to make the event really something special.

And most important of all, these performers, young and full of vitality and ideas, are paving a new way for circuses in the future.

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So, gone are the dreadful glittery costumes and the men in tights and, of course, there are no animals.

Most of the acts show basic circus skills like juggling, tightrope walking, clown routines and trapeze work but Circus Ricardo presents it all in a new way.

Flash the ringmaster (Rupert Appleyard) is a central, interactive role, being the evil villain who wants to sell the circus much against the will of his brother (brother in real life, too) Justo the clown (Justin Appleyard).

In the first of their shows, the Clockwork Doll, Flash is scheming and wicked but, after a spell, he becomes good in the "sequel" show The Ringmaster Returns.

So there is a novel edge to this show with some real circus talent thrown in – the comic trapeze routine with Roderigo (Lyndall Merry) and Milly the clown (Polly Marchant) was thrilling as was Flash's escape from a straight jacket hanging upside down from the big top in the finale.

It was not a faultless performance, but it was a show with heart. This, rather than making huge profits, seemed to be their motive and I applaud them for it.

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