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Museum in Norfolk set to lift the curtain on celebration of 250 years of circus

PUBLISHED: 13:40 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:45 05 October 2018

Exhibitions officer at Time and Tide Museum, Philip Miles, alongside a model ringmaster. Picture: Joseph Norton

Exhibitions officer at Time and Tide Museum, Philip Miles, alongside a model ringmaster. Picture: Joseph Norton

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Visitors to a museum in Norfolk will be able to explore the fascinating history behind circus and its acts which have amazed crowds for the past 250 years.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the changing roles of women in circus. Picture: Joseph NortonVisitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the changing roles of women in circus. Picture: Joseph Norton

The Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth will lift the curtain on the celebrations tomorrow. The exhibition aims to represent some of the most influential themes in circus which have captured the imagination of audiences across the country.

The town continues to embrace the strong bond it has with circus acts through the Hippodrome which celebrates 115 years of spectacles this year.

It is the last remaining operational purpose-built circus building in the UK.

Exhibitions officer at Time and Tide Museum, Philip Miles, said: “It is great to represent a spectacle that is vitally important to the town and one that people can still enjoy and experience here in Great Yarmouth at the Hippodrome.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the history of animals in circus. Picture: Joseph NortonVisitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the history of animals in circus. Picture: Joseph Norton

“We believe we have managed to achieve a good balance of themes which showcase a variety of acts and performances which have entertained crowds for 250 years.”

From individual performances by acrobats, clowns and jugglers to extravagant and highly choreographed productions such as Cirque du Soleil, circus productions have evolved greatly since they first launched in London in 1768.

The exhibition in Yarmouth explores a variety of themes for visitors to enjoy. These include; the history of circus, the changing role of animals in shows, the history of women in circus and the influence circus has had in Great Yarmouth.

Part of a nationwide project funded by the heritage lottery fund, the exhibition is just one of three showcases of Circus! Show of Shows. The two other exhibitions are taking place at Sheffield’s Weston Park Museum and Discovery Museum in Tyne and Wear.

Chair of the Norfolk joint museums committee. John Ward, says its “fantastic” to see Great Yarmouth chosen as one of six cities celebrating circus in its 250th anniversary year.

He said: “The exhibition will continue Time and Tide Museum’s excellent track record of delivering engaging and informative shows to the people of Norfolk and beyond.”

The exhibition will be open from 10am on Saturday to March 3 2019. There will be a series of family activities from midday tomorrow for visitors to enjoy as they explore the fascinating components of circus which have entertained crowds for the past 250 years.

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