Blackpool Tower Circus

The Endresz Brothers
Blackpool Tower

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Blackpool Tower Circus

When it comes to a Big Top circus, they don’t come any bigger than the one that nestles between the legs of Blackpool Tower.

Now, as it approaches its 130th year of entertainment, the world’s oldest permanent circus arena can also boast one of the longest ‘summer’ seasons as well. This year’s started at February half term and runs—on selected dates—through to Bonfire Night, sometimes staging three shows a day.

And while it may never match the spectacle, and multi-sensory experience, of the days when animals performed within the venue’s elegant surrounds, nowadays it depends entirely on skilled and daring humans to provide the thrills. At around the time the elephants packed their trunks, the Hungarian circus family led by Laci Endresz Snr took up residence and it is to their credit that the shows just go on...

Nowadays, it is his sons Laci Jnr and Bubu who host the entertainment, in their clown guises of Mooky and Mr Boo. They may be following in the giant footsteps of the Tower’s king of clowns Charlie Cairoli, but have developed a double act more akin to Cannon & Ball, with a series of routines and sketches aimed squarely at family audiences. They also create many of the show’s props and costumes and demonstrate even more versatility with their dance skills, on a giant piano keyboard.

A resident showband provide a blanket of sound, whereas something a little more subtle might suit some of the proceedings. Likewise, the lighting could better illuminate the facets of several performances. Sometimes just a single ‘super trouper’ spotlight ­is all you need.

Seven Ethiopian acrobats, making their debut here, are the first in a series of speciality acts, which also includes a spider and fly aerial cobweb performance; a motorbiking foot juggler; parallel pole gymnastics; a whirling bolas routine; and even four members of the audience becoming a balancing act.

And the wide-eyed wonderment it all creates is topped by a Wall of Death routine that becomes a Ball in which first one, then two, then three motorcyclists whirl around in astonishing proximity, climaxing in them holding hands while doing so...

As for the three floating, smoking dragons that circle the flooded arena at the show’s traditional climax?

Well, like any such good circus show, you have to see it to believe it.

Reviewer: David Upton