The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome is celebrating its 120th anniversary with a Summer Spectacular showcasing everything brilliant about the circus.

Built in 1903, anyone stepping through the Art Nouveau doors is transported to a dazzling world of enchantment in Norfolk’s most magical building.

The Jay family (host and director Jack, curator Peter, talent coordinator Christine, lighting and manager Ben, choreographer Estelle Clifton – and that’s the tip of the iceberg) know how to put on a show that will light up even the greyest of wet days.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Palma Diaz Troupe from Ecuador Picture: Palma Diaz Troupe from Ecuador Picture: (Image:

There are spinning wheels (Balazs Foldvary) and aerial acts (Salome Palma Diaz on trapeze and Svilvi Eva Pajor, whose suspended spiral act was gorgeous), rousing Argentinian Gauchos drumming (Revolution Gauchos) and juggling (crowd favourite Roberto Carlos, what that man can do with his mouth and a ping-pong ball will make your eyes pop).

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Aerial artist Svilvi Eva Pajor Picture: artist Svilvi Eva Pajor Picture: (Image:

There’s the natural, wonderful partnership of Jack and Johnny Mac as hosts – the AI sketch is particularly funny – and there’s the most precise, clever acrobatics from the Palma Diaz Troupe from Ecuador: quite how they can flip in the air and land foot to foot with their catcher defies all common sense. Amazing.

And then there are the laser shows, the on-point dancing and synchronised swimming from the Estelle Clifton Dancers and Hippodrome Circus Swimmers, the live drumming, the music, the slapstick, the fireworks, the fountains…

The biggest cheer of the show is for the South American motorbike stunt riders on the Wheel of Death: four motorcycle riders in one small spherical cage travelling at speed – it’s both terrifying and wonderful in equal measures. No wonder they’re popular.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: A stunt biker at the Hippodrome Picture: stunt biker at the Hippodrome Picture: (Image:

The Hippodrome has survived two world wars, bombing, recessions and pandemics for a reason: because the shows here are world-beating and make the audience feel like anything is possible.

Any day is a better day with the Hippodrome in it.

The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome’s Summer Circus and Water Spectacular is on until September 17. For more information and to book tickets visit or call 01493 738877.