Circus Billy Smart

My first visit ever in British circus should be the old circus Billy Smart. A flight from Copenhagen to London and with the underground (Tube) to Richmond in the surroundings of London to see one of the last performances in Circus Billy Smart this season. My knowledge about British circus is very small so I was really looking forward to my first visit.

Billy Smart is an old English circus with roots back to 1946, started by the fun fair showman – Billy Smart. The 2004 the performance is produced by the circus man Tony Hopkins. There was no animal in this performance and it seems that Great British circus is the only circus in England presenting animals.

Tony Hopkins

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

The show was opened with a traditional circus parade.

Tangra troupe was first in the ring with an acrobatic balance and Russian bar act. Nice level and lots of nice tricks. They are all former athletics or gymnast educated. They have travelled world wide with their two acts, the second act is The golden statues and was not included in this performance. Nice.

Tangra troupe

Picture by circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

Next were the afternoons reprise clown Henri. Normally my opinion is that reprise clowns there are in the ring between all acts are too much. Henri is an exception. He was really funny going a little further than we normally can see in a Scandinavian circus. I really liked him but I was not the one getting all the water. Extremely nice mimic, attitude and very smooth and fast. Lots of borrowed gags in the act but they were very well done. I’m not sure that Henri would have been a success in a Scandinavian circus – too much water on the spectators and too much throwing around with the food in the restaurant entrιe but I liked it very much.

The reprise clown Henri

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

Kim Kenneth with a very long career in the Illusion business was next. There is one single reason for Kim Kenneth has been working in a lot of major European circuses – he is good. He has performed in Circus Dannebrog, Arena, Nock, Althoff Jacobi, Barum, Martin Hanson winter circus, variety shows and many many more well-known places. This season in Circus Billy Smart for the second time (last time in 1999). Kim did four tricks in this show and they are all very visual. The best and the oldest is the part were Kenneth is driving through his assistant (Leanne) on a motor bike.

Kim Kenneth

Photo by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

Eugine and Vassilli – Jugglers. They were okay but nothing breathtaking news in this double act.

Eugine and Vassilli – Jugglers

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

The Velenciuc troupe are very different perch and stilt acrobats. This Moldavian troupe is nice and in a high quality doing different tricks on balancing on each others shoulders wearing stilts. The best part is when they are casting the girls from one man on stilts to another passing through each other. Nice act.

The Velenciuc troupe

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

Duo Monastryrsky – quik change act. When we are "swimming" in quick change acts in Europe, it is the first time ever an act like this is pretended in Britain. There is a lot of difference in the quality for those kinds of acts. Duo Monastryrsky was good and for the first time I saw a trick where the lady puts her hands in a bucket and changing the colour of her gloves. Nice. The rest of the act was seen before but the standard here was very good. Nice tempo and very quick clothes changing.

Duo Monastryrsky

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

Leanne – Aerial silk act. It is Leannes debut as an artist and this Aerial silk act was absolutely okay. Almost no circus without aerial silk acts at the moment and lots of them in a bad standard. So it was surprising to see Leannes absolute fair quality in the air. Leanne has been in circus Althoff Jacobi as an assistant for Kim Kenneth and his illusion show and in Circus Arena – Denmark – in the circus Ballet.

Ailona – Hula-Hoop. Like Aerial silk acts, hula hoops act are almost a part of any circus performance in Europe. And again, in a very different quality. Ailona is okay and she looks good but absolutely no new tricks at all. The act was well pretended and absolutely okay,

Leanne and Kim Kenneth last year in circus Althoff Jacobi

Picture by circus Scandianvai 2004 (C).

 

Los Ayalas – high wire act ended the show. My favourite circus discipline that I love to hate. For me there is enough danger to see those artists working straight over the wire but they normally don’t. They must absolute cross that line in every possible way. As other acts of its kind it is without any safety devices at all. Stupid yes - but very daring and extremely entertaining. Los Ayalas did a nice job in a very high quality but they did not reach the level like Los Quiros and a few other dare devils but I was absolutely satisfied. They went over the wire blindfolded, on a mono bike and jumped over each other.

Los Ayalas

Picture by Circus Scandinavia 2004 (C).

 

The performance went on for 2 hours and 5 min. with a 15 min break.

Spectators: 350 with room for 1500. (afternoon performance)

 

Tent, seats etc.

 
Sound in tent, microphones etc.

 

 
Circus orchestra

   

   

   

 

 
Artist Quality

 

 

Circus Souveniers

 

 

 

 

 
Toilets and other 

 
Overall Service

 

Overall presentation

 

The tent was just nice and there was seats everywhere

Sound in the tent was okay but the quality on the taped music was different in sound  from act to act.

There was no orchestra on CD music and the sound was not good enough.

Artist quality was nice but they needed animal acts.

Not enough souvenirs. a printed program (Nice) and a book seems to be all,

Toilets was nice with hot water.

The service was vey nice and smiling people everywhere.

The presentatin was nice and the acts was well adapted to each other. Henri changed the acts togheter in a very nice way

 

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