It’s still the greatest show in the north

Zippo’s Circus is back in Stonehaven this weekend, bringing its award-winning acts and new 2015 show to big top fans.

Voted ‘Britain’s Best Circus’ in 2013 and again in 2014 it isn’t hard to see why crowds flock to the ring.

At one of its most northerly stops, Fraserburgh, reporters were given the opportunity to try out some circus acts and talk to ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE.

Also known as ‘The World’s Greatest Ringmaster”, Norman also trains and presents his much-loved budgies in an act seen recently on television’s ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’.

When asked on whether a TV audience is harder than the live audience he is used to, Norman said the opposite is true.

He added: “They’re easier because they know it is live entertainment. With live crowds you get a lot of people sitting here and enjoying it and they are not applauding.

“The audience make the atmosphere, if they are with us it is a better show for us and a better show for them. When the audience is alive the shows are magical.

“We had a packed show last night and, if I am honest, the audience was slow at the start but then they got into it and, at the end, they were tremendous.”

This year’s sparkling production features world-renowned musical clowns the Rastellis, the beautiful horses and High School riding of Summer, and human-pyramid acrobats the Zulu Warriors.

Hand-balancer Kremena was a gold medal-winning gymnast for her native Bulgaria before turning her talents to the sawdust ring.

Handsome and daring Salvatore will make hearts beat faster as he flies high in chains with the climax to the show the nerve-tingling motorcycle Globe of Terror, with four bikers racing horizontally inside the tiny space while – seen here for the first time – the Globe splits open as they ride.

“Whether you are young or old you are all looking at the same act, with a different interpretation of that act.

“It is really important that if we have a kid here for the first time that he really enjoys himself because then you have someone for life. If that experience is bad they might never come again. “