Circus

Mocking Justice: Israel's Jailing of Palestinian Circus Trainer Mohammad Abu Sakha

Neil Durkin | Posted 15.03.2016 | UK
Neil Durkin

As with around 600 hundred other Palestinians, a six-month "administrative detention" order has been served on Abu Sakha by the Israeli military. With these scandalously unjust orders, no reason needs to be given and lawyers for those held have no real means of contesting the rulings which can be based on secret evidence. In Abu Sakha's case, the Israeli military have been quoted as saying the circus trainer poses a "danger ... to the security of the region". So that's supposed to be that.

Book Review: When Clowns Attack - A Survival Guide

Douglas McPherson | Posted 07.02.2016 | UK Comedy
Douglas McPherson

This is a silly book, of course - a bit like those guides to surviving a zombie apocalypse. I mean, clowns are harmless bringers of joy, aren't they? They wouldn't turn on us... er, would they? Surely they don't pose the same threat to our civilisation as a plague of zombies. But then again...

The Saddest Show on Earth - A Circus Memory

Douglas McPherson | Posted 26.01.2016 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

My journey into the circus world began at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome where I interviewed aerial silk artiste Eva Garcia, just a week before she fel...

Death of a Lion Tamer's Wife: Mai Stephens 1924 - 2015

Douglas McPherson | Posted 06.01.2016 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Mai Stephens, who has died aged 91, brought glamour to the act of Ireland's most famous lion tamer, her husband, the self-styled 'Captain' Bill Stephens. Her most dangerous stunt was bending over a rack of sharp knives while a lion leapt over her.

Why Sherlock's Dr Watson, Martin Freeman, Is Wrong About Circus Animals

Douglas McPherson | Posted 30.09.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

An earlier 18-month study by animal behavourist Dr Marthe Kiley-Worthington found circus animals suffer no stress during performance, training or transportation. Kiley-Worthington found circus training methods to be no harsher than those in riding stables, kennels or other animal husbandry environment...

Book Review: The Enemy Within by Gary Nott - a circus adventure with a 70s twist.

Douglas McPherson | Posted 07.09.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Do you remember the Bay City Rollers, Look-In magazine and the Six Million Dollar Man? Gary Nott's circus adventure The Enemy Within is about a gang...

15 Facts About Clowns for International Clown Week

Douglas McPherson | Posted 31.07.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

(Photo: D McPherson) Every day is something day, but forget clown day, because clowns have an entire week, from Aug 1 - 7 every year. It was even wr...

What is the Definition of a Circus?

Douglas McPherson | Posted 03.07.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Zippos Circus (Photo: Piet-Hein Out, courtesy Zippos) A recent article of mine on whether contemporary circus needs a new name to separate it from ...

Bobbo Roberts - The Life of a Clown (Part 2)

Douglas McPherson | Posted 30.06.2015 | UK Comedy
Douglas McPherson

Bobbo was born into one of the world's oldest circus families and on July 8 will make a guest appearance in Simon Thompson's 'clown noir' adaptation of Shakespeare's Love' Labour Lost at the Britannia Panopticon in Glasgow.

Bobbo Roberts - The Life of a Clown (Part 1)

Douglas McPherson | Posted 22.06.2015 | UK Comedy
Douglas McPherson

The most enjoyable part of writing Circus Mania, for me, was talking to the clowns, sword-swallowers and showmen who make their life in the big top. Every one of them had fascinating stories to tell about their unique vocation, informed as it is by years of tradition.

Fifteen Juggling Facts for World Juggling Day

Douglas McPherson | Posted 16.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Grab your balls, because this Saturday, June 20, is the 20th World Juggling Day. To celebrate here are 15 facts about juggling.

A Circus School That Brightens Up the Townships

Aloïs Angebault | Posted 29.05.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Aloïs Angebault

Yes, inequalities are not a myth and unmovable townships are still facing wealthy residential neighborhoods. But many other things have changed and successful projects have been blooming for a longer time than you may think.

Giffords Circus - The First Ten Years, Book Review

Douglas McPherson | Posted 18.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

In October 1999, Nell Gifford was invited to give a talk at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival the following May. She suggested that they book her circu...

How to Market a Circus - The Advance Man Book Review

Douglas McPherson | Posted 12.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

Most circus memoirs are written by performers or showmen. But it doesn't matter how good a show is if there's no audience to see it. The Advance Man ...

Edinburgh Fringe Gets Circus Hub But I'd Rather See Some Lions

Douglas McPherson | Posted 07.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

It's the traditional circuses that have always existed on box office takings alone while most new circus relies on sponsorship and public funding.

Brighton Fringe 2015 sees 50% sales increase in opening weekend

Julian Caddy | Posted 07.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Julian Caddy

[Camille O'Sullivan - Credit: Peter Williams] There were already high hopes, but the scale of the first weekend's ticket sales took us all by surpris...

20 Circus Facts for World Circus Day

Douglas McPherson | Posted 17.06.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

This Saturday, April 18, is the sixth World Circus Day. To celebrate, here are 15 fabulous facts about the sawdust circle.

The Circus of Parenthood

Hannah Clarke | Posted 07.06.2015 | UK Parents
Hannah Clarke

There are no sick days as a parent no matter how cruddy or sleep-deprived or manic you may feel. In said state of cruddy, sleep-deprived mania, I decided that being a parent is like being a one-man circus for both mums and dads. Here's why.

Can Robot Elephants Replace Circus Animals?

Douglas McPherson | Posted 24.05.2015 | UK Tech
Douglas McPherson

In an increasingly sanitised and digitalised age, the interaction of trainer and animal in the sawdust circle provides something real and raw that no other form of entertainment can offer. Rather than demeaning animals, it impresses all ages with their skill and intelligence, and enhances our relationship with nature.

Ringling Elephants and the Ankus - Is It Time to Let Circuses Off the Hook?

Douglas McPherson | Posted 17.05.2015 | UK Entertainment
Douglas McPherson

That little is known about circus training is unsurprising - a magician doesn't spoil his illusions with a banal explanation. But the secrecy of the circus community has fuelled suspicion of cruelty. It's human nature to distrust those who live differently from us and to apply sinister connotations to things we don't understand.

Animal Rights or Welfare - The Big Difference

Douglas McPherson | Posted 09.05.2015 | UK
Douglas McPherson

I would say most people oppose cruelty to animals. But I reckon the vast majority consider humans and animals to have very different rights.

10 Reasons Why We Must Consign Wild Animal Circuses to History

Marc Lee Abraham | Posted 06.05.2015 | UK
Marc Lee Abraham

Many believe wild animal circuses are already banned, as the overwhelming majority of the public turned their backs on such shows years ago. The issue refuses to go away and the prime minister is being urged to pass the ban he promised before the General Election. I am one of the many hoping he keeps his promise - here's why:

Circus Animals - 10 Reasons the Show Must Go On

Douglas McPherson | Posted 02.05.2015 | UK
Douglas McPherson

Circuses with wild animals are strictly regulated by a licensing scheme, introduced in 2012, that sees them inspected by vets six times a year (twice unannounced) with the results available online. Every aspect of the animal's life, diet and accommodation is governed by strict guidelines.

Roll Up! Roll Up! It's The World's First Drone Circus!

The Huffington Post UK | Michael Rundle | Posted 16.02.2015 | UK Tech

We now live in a world with a circus performed entirely with drones. 'Air 2015’, coming to Amsterdam later this year, will use highly specced un...

Terrifying Footage Reveals The Moment A Lion Tamer Is Attacked By Her Own Lion

Huffington Post UK | Sara C Nelson | Posted 09.02.2015 | UK

The horrifying moment a lion tamer was attacked by her charge has been captured on film. Tamer and circus owner Faten El-Helw was being filmed in ...