Review: Zippos Circus

Rastelli Clowns

Rastelli Clowns - Credit: Copyright Piet-Hein Out

Zippos Circus will be coming to East Ham on Thursday. Sophie Morton had a preview of what crowds will enjoy during its six days in the borough.

Odko the contortionist

Odko the contortionist - Credit: Copyright Piet-Hein Out

If death-defying gymnasts, talented animals or comedic clowns are your thing, Zippos Circus has plenty to offer.

Hercules the strongman

Hercules the strongman - Credit: Copyright Piet-Hein Out

Their 2014 tour, Unchained, offers an action-packed and varied show which will entertain children and adults alike.

Even before the show started, the performers were interacting with the crowd in the big top.

Comic character Emilion was mingling with the audience, playing pranks and taking photos, easing everyone into the circus atmosphere.

The Tropicana Troupe kicked off proceedings by leaping onto springboards and flying through the air, coming on again at the end of the show to perform even more daredevil stunts high above the ground.

Ukrainian Hercules showed off his incredible strength through lifting several cast members on a telegraph pole and pulling a car with his teeth - which would later drive over him.

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Another jaw-dropping performance came from contortionist Odka, who twisted her whole body into a bottle.

While some of the acts were designed to shock us with incredible feats, others were played for laughs.

Slapstick humour came from Emilion throughout the show, providing entertaining links between acts.

The Rastellis provided a more traditional clown act that rounded off the first half with a musical showcase.

The Italians come from a circus background, something that is evident throughout their act as they manage to recreate with ease the performance style that made clowns so popular.

It wasn’t just the human performers that wowed us.

Trainer Summer managed to create a complex routine involving six horses, while fans of ringmaster Norman Barrett, who has made many television performances during his long career, will be pleased to know his budgerigar act is still a feature.

The show provides an enthralling introduction to the circus for those that have never been to a big top before, while remaining fresh and original enough to entertain those who visit year after year.

Zippos Circus will be at Barking Road Recreation Groud, East Ham from Thursday, March 8 until Tuesday, March 13.

To book tickets, visit or call 0871 210 2100