The Golden Age of Circus

The Golden Age of Circus

The Golden Age of Circus: The Show of Shows; 100 Years of Vaudeville, Circuses, and Carnivals

Roll up, roll up for an unforgettable experience!

This film tells the story of itinerant circus performers, cabaret acts and vaudeville and fairground attractions. Rarities and never-before-seen footage of fairgrounds, circus entertainment, freak shows, variety performances, music hall and seaside entertainment are chronicled from the 19th and 20th centuries. Featuring early shows that wowed the world and home movies of some of the greatest circus families.

Here’s a snippet of a review by the Guardian:

In his absorbing tone poem, Storyville: The Golden Age of Circus – The Show of Shows (BBC4) director Benedikt Erlingsson plunders the international archives to piece together this dreamy vision of bygone showpeople and their audiences. The footage, taken from the 19th and 20th centuries, is underpinned by the gloriously lofty sounds of Sigur Rós (well, some of them) and an Icelandic choir, performing a score written specially for the film.

Erlingsson’s exhaustive research and careful editing, accompanied by the plaintive orchestrations beneath, are quite bewitching. This film grabs you like Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, taking your hand and flying you over snowy fields to a land of big tops, vivid colour, whirling dancers and fiery daredevils.

You can read more here

You can watch an excerpt here:

And you can find out more about the film, as well as watch the full film on demand here

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