Norwich and Yarmouth join ‘Six Cities of Circus’

Norwich has been named as one of a handful of cities in the UK to be recognised for its significant circus heritage.

The recognition means Norwich – along with Great Yarmouth as part of a joint bid for the accolade –joins five other cities which have been named as ‘Six Cities of Circus’.

Each will go on to play a vital role in helping to highlight and celebrate 250 years of modern circus throughout 2018.

Along with Norwich and Yarmouth, the other circus cities are Bristol, Blackpool, Newcastle-under-Lyme, London and Belfast. The cities will host a range of events next year as part of the ‘Circus250’ celebrations.

Thanks to Norwich city council’s successful bid for £150,000 of funding from Arts Council England, the region will be able to stage a series of circus-themed events.

One of the city council’s high-profile events will be Lord Mayor’s Celebration in July which will feature a circus-themed parade with life-sized elephant puppets winding through the streets. Following this, there will be a Big Top circus festival in Chapelfield Gardens.

Alan Waters, leader of the council, said: “The Lord Mayor’s Celebration is the perfect showcase to celebrate 250 years of circus. The city has deep roots with its circus history as it was the birthplace of the famous 19th century circus proprietor Pablo Fanque.

“Meanwhile, in Great Yarmouth, the Hippodrome remains Britain’s only surviving complete circus building, so we have much to contribute to the UK-wide efforts to mark two-and-a-half centuries of all things circus.”