Roll up to the big top - Cambs Times reporter is given a trapeze trial when the circus comes to March
PUBLISHED: 15:57 14 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:58 14 October 2014
A big top springs up from nowhere and the twinkling lights beckon families into an arena where the fun never stops.
Behind the scenes are a small bunch of people whose talent has been passed from generation to generation where children grow up surrounded by a strong work ethic and everything is done with a dramatic flourish.
“Life on the road, there is nothing like it,” said Mr Fips whose Wonder Circus has this week pitched up in March as part of a 40-town UK tour.
“It’s in your blood. My 16 month old daughter Lola climbs onto her chair, throws her arms out with a cry of “tur nur!” when she has put on new clothes or eaten dinner.
“She watches her parents and grandparents so she copies. It’s in our blood.”
Mr Fips is a whirlwind of energy that is Jan Erik Brenner, a third generation circus man who started performing at the age of six and by the time he was 10 was in a full time clown act travelling across Europe with his family.
He founded the Wonder Circus three years ago to recreate an arena of good old fashioned family fun where people take a step back in time to simple pleasures.
The youngest member of the troupe is plate spinner 12 year old Angel Nicol, who in the day can be found doing homework in a caravan he shares with his mother, while the oldest is Mr Brenner’s 75 year old father Karl, who plays Charlie the Clown.
When Mr Brenner junior visits the newspaper office to announce the circus is town I take the opportunity to reveal that as a small child my dream was to be a trapeze artist or a writer.
Four decades later he gave me the chance to combine the two with the help of couple Shane Bear and Laura Lambrooke who put me through my paces inside the big top at Mill Hill roundabout near Wimblington for a trial trapeze session.
“Putting up the big top is all the exercise I need to build my strength,” Shane assured me as he effortlessly hoisted me up and held me in a pose that I just about managed - but one that his partner Laura created with effortless grace.
Half an hour later I gave up when the ropes burnt my feet and knees.
Shane said “The pain. You get used to that, sometimes the tops of my legs bleed where they are against the ropes in holds. But you push through, you just get used to it.”
Under the watchful eye of Mr Brenner my 30 minute session is over and am ready to watch the professionals at work and enjoy the whole circus experience.
Mr Brenner said: “My aim with each show is to take people’s breath away, amaze them, make them laugh.
“We think we are sophisticated beings in this high technology world but we’re not -actually there is nothing better than a night of variety.
“To see families together having a good night out, laughing together - that is what circus is about.”
Mr Fips Wonder Circus two hour show is on Wednesday at 5pm and 7pm, Thursday and Friday at 7.30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 5pm and Sunday at 2pm.
Wednesday is £5.99. Otherwise, tickets cost £11-£12 for adults or £10-£11 for children.
Children go free with a full paying adult if using the voucher from our newspaper or download a £2 off voucher by going to Mr Fips Wonder Circus’ Facebook page. Call the box office on 07719-877422.
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