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Circus Days, Circus Nights

Dea Birkett

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Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the circus. I love the way in which it can transform a sodden field, so that it becomes, overnight, a world of wonder full of strange beasts and exotic performers. Only the circus can make you laugh, gasp, be afraid, whoop, feel so happy and so sad. At the circus, every sense is assaulted – the bright lights, the band music, the smell of the sawdust.

As an adult, I ran away to join the circus, working as an elephant girl. Just as the circus can transform a sodden field, so it can transform the people working in it. Instead of a mum from the south of England, I became Princess Dea, the elephant girl, bedecked in feathers, a gold sequinned G-string, and little else. I worked for Circo Americano in Italy, and later travelled with Circus Scott in Scandinavia. I dream of making another tour.

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Read the accompanying article The Show Must Go On

Circus Days, Circus Nights is available from:
Force 10 Productions, PO Box 20479, London SE17 3WF

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