is Britain's only surviving TOTAL Circus Building, built in 1903 by the legendary Circus showman George Gilbert. Throughout the century the intimate arena has played host to an incredible variety of entertainment, from amazing water spectacles and stage variety shows to cinema and cine variety and even wartime use as a military practice shooting range! - Apart from always presenting the very best in Circus, Lloyd George held political rallies here - Lily Langtry sang, Little Titch clowned, Max Miller joked, Houdini escaped. The world's finest clowns and circus personalities performed - ALL experienced the Hippodrome's unique atmosphere.
For eight weeks each summer the Hippodrome becomes a focus for world wide circus attention, as artistes from around the globe converge in town to appear in Peter Jay's new circus production. This year marks Peter's 20th year as owner, producer and director of the circus and is celebrated by the return of the synchronised swimmers to the unigue Hippodrome water feature, one of only four still operating in the entire world the others being in Moscow, Paris and Blackpool.
Last year the Hippodrome Circus broke all records and won the coveted title of "Britain's Best Circus" from the nation-wide Circus Friends Association, the "Oscar" of the British Circus World, realising a personal ambition that had taken Peter 19 years to achieve. two years ago the building faced closure and conversion to a themed circus attraction, but the public voted with it's feet and the interest levels in the circus building soared with award winning Anglia TV documentary "Tears of a Clown", making the proposed 'last' season one of the best ever.
The Hippodrome is back, stronger and more popular than ever and looking forward to it's centenary year in 2003. With a planned winter time circus school and academy of excellence and this summers even more spectacular summer presentation, George Gilbert, who is it's resident reputed "ghost", would be well pleased with the progress of East Anglia's mini Albert Hall - The Unique Hippodrome.
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