Summer Circus and Water Spectacular

STEPHEN PULLINGER Hippodrome Circus, Yarmouth


Whoever says variety has had its day ought to take a look inside Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus, where impresario Peter Jay pulls it off brilliantly.

Combining breathtaking circus acts with music, dance, comedy and imaginative lighting, it's a heady mix for the audience.

Even our 22-month-old was enthralled for the whole performance, jigging along with the dancers and watching the flying trapeze artists with saucer eyes.

In many ways the Jays' circus is like the seaside variety shows I used to watch with my parents as a child.

In father-and-son duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams, the Hippodrome has attracted a double act that deserves to be mentioned in that great British tradition.

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Their billing as the UK's number one clowns does not really do them justice – their circus skills are just the icing on a rich cake of comedy.

To celebrate their 25th year at the Hippodrome, the Jays have brought together a cosmopolitan programme.

Regulars the Rodogels from Mexico provide their hypnotic performance on the flying trapeze, while Belarus troupe Voladas give an acrobatic display on the horizontal bars.

Balazs from Hungary does some remarkable gyrations in the ring with what looks like a giant hamster wheel and demonstrates amazing skill in showing what not to try on a BMX bike.

Grace and glamour comes from hula hoop girl Anastasia and Yarmouth's Zoe, an aerial artist and first graduate of the Hippodrome circus school.

The Jays' circus is renowned for slick dance routines from Estelle Clifton's troupe, and the customary second-half performance by the Jan Baines show swimmers.

It is still fascinating to watch the ring fill with water, the Hippodrome being one of only three buildings world-wide capable of staging such a spectacular.

On this occasion, it provides the setting for a beautifully choreographed aerial display by Bulgaria's Nikolay Nikolov, soaring high and plunging into the water.

t The run ends on September 12. Call the box office on 01493 844172.