Youngsters learn circus tricks
Excited youngsters had 'super-duper fun' as they learnt the learnt the tricks of the circus trade in Dereham at the weekend.The team from Magic Carpet Theatre have performed all over Europe and as far away as Singapore but on Saturday they rolled up at the market town's Memorial Hall to entertain the crowds and teach a little bit of circus magic.
Excited youngsters had 'super-duper fun' as they learnt the learnt the tricks of the circus trade in Dereham at the weekend.
The team from Magic Carpet Theatre have performed all over Europe and as far away as Singapore but on Saturday they rolled up at the market town's Memorial Hall to entertain the crowds and teach a little bit of circus magic.
Riding unicycles, juggling and walking the tightrope were just some of the activities children could have a go at before showing off their new skills in front of an audience, and later watching the circus masters at work in a fun-packed show called Magic Circus.
Brothers Liam and Jonathan Brown, six and seven, really got into the spirit of things by dressing up as clowns and dying their hair blue with the help of mum Nicky.
'It was super-duper fun! I really liked the spinning plates.' said Liam, while Jonathan added that his favourite activity was trying the different types of circus bikes.
Other youngsters enjoying the day included Dylan Rymer, six, who said he also liked learning about spinning plates as well as juggling with scarves, while Zaccie Harrison, seven, had fun perfecting the art of riding a unicycle and learning the diabolo.
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Steve Collison, 36 and from Magic Carpet Theatre, said he started learning circus tricks when he was just five and learnt the unicycle when he was 12.
He said the youngsters at Saturday's workshop had all been very enthusiastic and had a great time getting a taste of circus life.
Clowning around may look easy but it actually takes a lot of skill and hard work, as reporter Emma Knights found out.
There is nothing quite like being thrown in at the deep end, and that's exactly what happened when I asked to have a go at some circus skills. Before I knew what was happening Jon Marshall from Magic Carpet Theatre gathered an audience around and announced to my horror I would be performing my very first attempt at a circus trick, a tightrope walk, in front of the crowd.
One of the professionals went first to show how it was done. He made it look so easy as I watched his footwork carefully, trying to pick up some tips.
As I tentatively put my right foot on the rope I had visions of falling flat on my face and the few metres of rope that stretched out in front seemed to go on forever.
To my surprise it actually was not as hard as I thought it world be - although that was largely due to the helping hand Jon gave me to help me balance!
For when he took his hand away it was probably just a matter of seconds before the tightrope and I became just a little bit too wobbly for my liking.
Still, I did manage to get to the end of the tightrope and earn a round of applause - albeit after falling off once!
Next up was the unicycle where the key was to rock gently backwards and forwards on the seat to keep your balance, followed by plate spinning where the trick was to move your balancing stick in small circles that become larger and larger until your plate is balancing on the top and whizzing round. The theory sounded so simple but the reality not so much!
It was all good fun but judging by my efforts I think I may need a few more years of practice before I could even consider running off to join the circus!