Magic, clowns and trapeze

The Netherlands National Circus.
The Netherlands National Circus.

SOUTHSEA GREEN: A hidden gem

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Roll up! Roll up! Springtime fun is coming to Southsea as the circus big top goes up.

The Netherlands National Circus is about to roll into town for a fortnight of comedy, illusion, balancing acts, live music and gravity-defying stunts.

The circus will be based on Southsea Common, running two or three shows every day between Tuesday, April 14 and Sunday, April 26.

The action will be hosted by Yasmine Smart, from Windsor, who was last year voted into the International Circus Hall Of Fame in the USA.

She is the only British artist to have received three highly-coveted Monte Carlo festival awards on three different occasions.

One of the highlights of the show is sure to be the Flying Aces trapeze troupe, a fivesome from Australia who add an extra dimension to a regular acrobatics show with a pendulum swing and static catching cradle.

Another memorable act will be Alex the Fireman, an acrobat whose highly-developed aerial skills often take a back seat to his comedy. He swings, trips and falls with perfect comic timing.

A trio sure to wow spectators in the big top will be the Ethio Brothers, who perform incredible feats of acrobalance. The brothers hail from Ethiopia and their act involves a great deal of hoisting, lifting, co-ordination and balance.

Johnny Bingo is the Italian clown of the show, who uses subtlety rather than simple buffoonery to get his laughs. Other performers will include the rope-walker Yosvanny Rodrigues, the illusionist and the magician Frédéric René Schulz, who is also known as Jidini.

Others taking the stage will be Russian-trained performers Tatiana and Aliana as well as Team Fonz, a high-energy group of trampolinists who base their show on the 1970s TV show Happy Days.

Visitors to the circus can win £50 worth of high street shopping vouchers and a chance to perform with the stars in the circus ring. For more details on this competition go to bigtoptalent.co.uk.

Shows Tuesday through Friday take place at 2.30pm and 7pm. Saturday shows are at 2pm, 4.45pm and 7.30pm and Sunday shows are at 12.30pm and 3.30pm. On Monday, April 20, there will be show at 6pm. For more information or to book, netherlandscircus.com, call 0113 260 2444 or e-mail contact@netherlandscircus.com.