ROLLING back the years – in this case all the way to 1903 – the circus is in town folks and what a splendid family night out it is!
Circus was what first thrilled audiences at the Birmingham Hippodrome when it opened at the turn of the 20th century, so it is more than fitting that they should choose this artistic medium to celebrate their 120th anniversary.
Of course, back then the show arrived into town on a specially-built circus train to house everything from bearded ladies to the kings and queens of the jungle animal world.
Now it arrives in a convoy of stretched lorries; there are no longer lions, tigers and horses – the Queen of the jungle and offspring are still included, however.
Stunning African Elephant puppets designed and built by the clever creators of Warhorse, Mervyn Millar and Tracy Waller and operated by a team of puppeteers headed by Mikey Brett and James Donovan are utterly believable and totally endearing.
There are jaw-dropping performances by exotically-named tumblers, jugglers, acrobats and contortionists from all over the world plus a non-stop cavalcade of mirth, mayhem and magic all under the leadership of ringmaster Willy Whipsnade aka David Williamson from the US of A.
Willy is there to entertain with close up magic before the show, bring delighted children to the stage to help him throughout and truly set the scene for a fabulous night under the big top stage.
He is quite simply ‘The Original Showman’.
The excitement of children of all ages chattering approval of an awesome nights entertainment radiated warmth as we exited 1903 and rejoined a cold night in the modern world of bustling Birmingham.
This highly recommended show runs at the Hippodrome until November 2.
Click here for times, tickets and more information.
Review by Euan Rose.