Review: Christmas Spectacular Circus and Water Show – Ben Langley makes a big splash
- Credit: David Street at Streetview for Hippodrome Circus Great Yarmouth.
He's made the trip along the Acle Straight and this Christmas will be entertaining crowds at a different venue: Ben Langley has joined the Greatest Showmen at the Hippodrome Circus.
Appearing alongside ringmaster and director Jack Jay, Ben has swapped Norwich Theatre Royal for Great Yarmouth and a very different kind of Christmas show in which he often takes centre stage.
Entering to a tune from The Greatest Showman, in which he is 'initiated' into the circus, Ben seemed immediately at home in the ring and raced through a demanding show which sees him juggle, fall off chairs, fall in love AND sing a song you'll still be humming long after the big finale.
But, as ever, the circus isn't just about its hosts, and this festive show is absolutely jam-packed from start to finish with a dazzling array of acts from across the globe, from graceful aerial artiste Salvatore Sambito to Cuba's New Revolution Troupe with their death-defying gymnastics and the Wheel of Death to the beautiful balancing of The Bionic Brothers.
There are laser shows and show swimming, the ever-fabulous Estelle Clifton Dancers (and their young counterparts from Dance Estelle, always a cute addition to any circus) and, my absolute favourite, charismatic juggler Roberto Carlos, whose party-piece is juggling seven ping-pong balls…using his mouth.
In a purpose-built building which is the very definition of atmospheric, it's impossible to feel bah humbug as Christmas music fills the air and the ring is filled with festively dressed dancers and glittery circus stars.
The laser routine is particularly mesmerising as lights dance over the water-filled ring and the whole building is filled with sparkle - I could watch it all day.
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Jack is a generous ringmaster - never a limelight stealer - and both he and Ben are born entertainers who are pin-sharp, react quickly to any situation thrown in their direction and have physical comedy nailed.
Britain's Got Talent fans will enjoy Ben's Misheard Lyrics section - which is laugh-out-loud funny - and circus fans will enjoy another array of international stars whose bravery and skill leaves you breathless.
I don't think I will ever fully relax during the Wheel of Death routine.
I hope that Ben Langley brings new audience members to the Hippodrome and that once they've made one visit, they'll be forever hooked on what is one of Norfolk's true treasures and make a Christmas visit a brand new tradition.
* The Christmas Spectacular Circus and Water Show is at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome until January 5. For more information, visit www.hippodromecircus.co.uk or call 01493 844172.