Today, the Circus is popular across the world, but did you realise this live entertainment phenomenon has its roots in this country? In fact, it’s very nearly 250 years since 1768, when an entrepreneur and showman by the name of Philip Astley invited the London public to attend his arena filled with the kinds of incredible acts we associate with the circuses of today, including tumblers, horses, acrobats, jugglers and, of course, clowns.
Blackpool has played a vital role in the development of Circus, as far back as 14 May 1894 when the legendary Blackpool Tower Circus, first threw open its doors to the public and since which date it has not missed a season. As part of 2018’s celebrations of 250 years of Circus, Blackpool has been named as one of the UK’s six Cities of Circus. Now the town is busy putting the finishing touches to its plans to mark this special year with a programme of live entertainment and a series of related special events for locals and visitors alike to look forward to.
Coordinated by community interest company Circus 250, next year’s UK-wide celebration of 250 years of circus will also include Bristol, Great Yarmouth, London, Belfast and Newcastle-under-Lyme as Cities of Circus.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted that Blackpool has been named as one of the UK’s six Cities of Circus.
“The Blackpool Tower Circus is one of the best known across the world and has made the resort synonymous with this form of family entertainment. We look forward to showcasing our contribution to the celebrations during 2018.”
Dea Birkett, Ringmaster at Circus250, added: “Circus250 celebrates the past but looks to the future. Over the last 250 years, circus – the original pop up – has continually evolved and reinvented itself. Each of our six Cities of Circus demonstrate through their fabulous histories and awe-inspiring current circus, just how enduring and innovative circus is.”
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