CELEBRATION OF CIRCUS BIG TOP

RAISING THE ROOF FREE SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN AT THE LIBRARY

CELEBRATION OF CIRCUS BIG TOP

The magic and wonder of the iconic circus red top is being celebrated with a very special exhibition at a Leeds library.

Marking the 250th anniversary of the first circus in 1768 by Philip Astley, Room 700 at Leeds Central Library are pulling out all the stops to bring to life through the ‘Big Top Leeds’ exhibition, the history behind the art form famed for acts including jugglers, acrobats and strong men. Showcased from the central library collections includes circus bills featuring Pablo Fanque, the first black circus owner who is buried in Leeds, Mr Kite, who was famously immortalised in the song by The Beatles ‘Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite!’ and Mr Cooke who hosted a circus on Boar Lane for 20 years.

Open now until February 28 2018, also on offer is material from the collection of author Steve Ward, who for over 40 years has researched and written about the circus and costumes and items from Becky Truman, a former aerial performer and artist. Sitting aside the exhibition are also a number of circus themed events including a talk and handcasting workshop by Becky Truman, a lunchtime talk by Steve Ward and a performance from Urban Angels and Heritage Corner looking into the life and times of Pablo Fanque and his wife Susannah.

Working in partnership with Leeds Libraries is Circus 250, which is the co-ordinating body for all activity nationwide to celebrate 250 years of circus in 2018.

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