Hippodrome Halloween Spooktacular review: A terrifyingly good show
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I love Halloween, I love Great Yarmouth, I love the Hippodrome Circus, so this was a monster mash-up made in heaven.
The Hippodrome's Halloween special had a full house when I visited which is testament to the degree to which this autumnal show has been embraced by audiences.
And what a show it is.
Director and host Jack Jay returns with comedian Johnny Mac and Halloween baddie James Franklin for a family show packed with laughs, thrills and panto-style humour that hits the sweet spot for children and adults alike.
Jack and Johnny have taken over a haunted hotel whose only customer is Count Dracula (Franklin, a great villain as ever) whose tomb Johnny mistakenly disturbed and whose idea of a mini bar involves slightly more literal Bloody Marys.
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This story is intertwined with incredible circus acts including Salvatore Sambito on the aerial chains and cloud swing (breathtaking) and the fabulous Tommy J Rollason, a juggler from Lowestoft who is a born performer.
I loved Priscilla and Marco Moressa's crossbow and knife throwing act and the fact that both acted as thrower and thrown-at (usually it's just the woman who finds herself having a knife launched towards them). It was edge-of-the-seat stuff, really thrilling - at some points you could hear a pin drop, such was the level of anticipation.
- 1 Vanishing village - Satellite images show incredible erosion at Winterton
- 2 9 Norfolk pubs with heated gardens for mixed households
- 3 'One of the most generous people' - Family pays tribute to town 'legend'
- 4 Girl, 13, injured in hit-and-run outside village shop
- 5 'Nothing worse than shut shops': Relief in Great Yarmouth as lockdown lifts
- 6 Parts of Norfolk may see snow by end of the week, say forecasters
- 7 Schools in Norfolk closed or partially shut due to coronavirus
- 8 Cash and jewellery stolen in Gorleston burglary
- 9 'An absolute shock' - clifftop cafe closed amid demolition fears
- 10 Police cordon at cafe and beach ahead of demolition
But my favourite act of all was Italian contortionist Ida Munno who managed to twist and bend herself into all manner of seemingly impossible positions, including into a tiny glass box. I could have watched her all night.
In between the acts, Jack and Johnny kept us all in stitches with a non-stop barrage of slapstick and jokes - in particular the 12 Days of Halloween song was a scream as the pair and James gave a spooky twist to a Christmas classic in riotous style and illustrated just how funny they can be.
A mention must also go to the brilliant Estelle Clifton dancers who help to keep pace throughout, Ben Jay's fabulous production and the haunting soundtrack supplemented by the youngest Jay in the production, Billy, the third generation of Jay drummers.
And there's another stand-out moment involving the appearance of a whole host of ghosts - it's really quite magical and unexpected, although I've warned you now (but you still won't see it coming).
A terrifyingly good show.
- The Halloween Spooktacular runs until November 3 with up to three shows a day, visit the Hippodrome Circus website or call 01493 844172 to book.