Review: Pirates Live at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome

Pirates Live at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Captain Haweye played by Jack Jay, Pirate J

Pirates Live at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Captain Haweye played by Jack Jay, Pirate Johnny played by Johnny Mac and Danny Potts as the dastardly Admiral Lockehart. March 2015. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The number of children dressed up as pirates showed just how far families have taken Norfolk’s latest entertainment phenomenon to their hearts.

If the ghost of George Gilbert really does exist (and people swear they have seen him), the showman who built Great Yarmouth Hippodrome in 1903 would surely be amazed by the transformation of the historic auditorium for the second Easter pirate show.

The wizards at 3D Creations, the Gorleston firm which constructed a pirate town for the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, have built a breathtaking set that is perfect for two hours of riotous pirate fun - mixed with the world-class circus skills you come to expect at the Hippodrome.

The venue’s unique water feature becomes the port of Yarmouth and dominating the quayside is the splendid pirate ship of dastardly Captain Hawkseye, played by Hippodrome son Jack Jay, who has returned to the harbour to clash cutlasses again with Pirate Johnny (AKA popular circus regular Johnny Mac).

The comic duo, following in the footsteps of such Hippodrome favourites as Danny and Clive, take the audience on a whirlwind adventure featuring an exotic gang of pirates, the very English Admiral Lockehart and jealously guarded crown jewels that inevitably end up being stolen.

Along the way, an energetic troupe of African acrobats impress with their balance, strength and skill and quayside acrobatics are also provided by East European trio Marius, Nicola and Mihail Ionescu.

Add into the mix, graceful aerial displays, a flying trapese act and even a mermaid or two and it all blends into a pirate spectacular.

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The queues for the first show will undoubtedly be repeated throughout Easter with bookings already more than double last year’s successful first run.

To book, call the box office on 01493 844172 or visit

Review by Stephen Pullinger