Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zippos Sans Hippos Revives Roman Riding Bombast in Bonny Scotland ... Customers In Kilts Welcome

Nicky de Neumann

Zippos, just the name, sounds so zippy flippy snappy happy.  I’m in a Zippos mood telling you about this Brit big top daring to – brace yourself – include animals in the show!  Yes, can you believe it, in the land  that gave us the circus we knew, until Cirque du Soleil covered everybody in masks, fired its under-performing menagerie amounting to a single duck, and dry-iced the tent to death -- in that once circus-happy land, those rousing roman riders are on the rise again. Well, count that one — her name being Nicky de Neumann and here she is, taking the tanbark like once daily it was taken.

I’m thinking years ago at Al. G. Kelly and Miller Bros, semi-thrilling to riders straddling a foursome of horse-power flipping dust round the old weedy hippodrome track.   Ah, the reality of life that once was the circus.

The Havana Troupe: Cuba rocks!

Show named after its owner, Zippos the Clown, he being Martin Burton.

They Call themselves “Scotland’s favorite circus.”  Cheers to the cheery Scots and their crusty good taste!

This breezy breakthrough – might the Brits in a few dozen years shake off their anti-animal circus blues and allow delightful dogs, campy camels, tender tigers and lazy lions made to look dangerous, back into the ring? — this breathless news arrived here from journalist-author Douglas McPherson (Circus Mania).

Chenoa: Dive, diva, dive!

How I’d love to visit Scotland again, and become a Zippos fan.  I’d be nice for the day, even if, horror of horrosr, they try selling me Zippos nuts or somebody whirls a Zippos hoop (oh please, don't ruin my life)

Trouble is, my fear of flying was not talked away when I took the trip to China in 2010, air ride suffering scary turbulence both ways.  So racked was I, that trying to watch the movie West Side Story on the thumbnail sized screen in front of me, during the jets and sharks choreographed fight, I actually had to turn the thing off, afraid it might add to the turbulence!  Yes, it’s okay to have a good Zippos laugh on me.

Ride, Nicky,  ride!  You are woman.  We hear you soar!

The Delbosq Clowns: I'm already giggling

Hercules: cool

Famed ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE - ah, what a classy host!

And what might "MBE" stand for?  Let's take a guess - Magnificent barker extraordinaire? 

[Shhhhh!  Don’t look too hard at the photos — oh, how can I break this gently to you: You might not see too many bodies in the seats, blame it on the Roman Gladiators, yet to arrive]


Douglas McPherson said...

There could be a changing tide of opinion. UK tabloid the Daily Express recently ran the lamest ever story on "circus cruelty" with the headline "Circus camels are still facing life of misery" and the clearly unchecked claims of poor conditions by animal rights group Animal Defenders International accompanied by a photo of the two most relaxed and contented-looking camels ever seen. The online edition was rightly bombarded with comments about how stupid the article was.
I particularly like the comment by one sharp-eyed observer who points out that the "cramped" camel enclosure isn't even closed - they could walk into a paddock anytime they chose.

Douglas McPherson said...

A quick PS for the animal rights protestors. Half of Nicky's stable are rescued horses. One was about to be shot by his horse-racing owners because he was deemed un-ride-able and un-controllable. Within six weeks Nicky had sweet-talked him into becoming a star performer. From the firing squad to the circus ring, how's that for the magic of the big top?

Showbiz David said...

Ah, it stirs the sawdust in my soul!