Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Insect Circus

In times of revitalization of human circuses, a field so often infested by artistic parasithism, how welcome is a show done completely by honest and genuine parasites, encouraging a flourishing future for the always ambitious art of the arena.
We recently discovered “Circus of Insects” in London, just in front of Tate Modern. We was astonished by a knife thrower having a butterfly as target, a pyramid of ants, a juggling bee, a beetle clown and a full rock band of cicadas.
For the commodity of the wiewer, they are all grown human-sized, probably thanks to some specific vitaminic treatment.
None of the performers is, of course, object of mistreatment or cruelty: in fact, the circus is safely and regularly inspected by RSPCI, that awarded it with a gold medal 2003. This anyway doesn’t seem to stop the protests from the Performing Insect & Mollusc Defence League.
Besides that, this circus displays a unique annex: a museum of rare memorabilia witnessing centuries of history of insect circus world: the charming Insect Circus Museum. This being a true tabernacle celebrative of illustrious icons: from Josia Banks, father of the modern insect circus around 1770, to the legendary Tingling bros and Bunkum – Bugbee Combined Shows; from the London Christmas shows of Bramwell Hill’s at Olympia from 20s to 60s, to stage vaudeville specialty experts as master illusionist Gabardini, “master of mystery” in the ealry XX Century.
The museum contains props, posters, miniature models, musical instruments, rare programs, photographs and playbills of more than two centuries of memorable history. Some rare peepshows are also there, to witness of past industrious glories.

Some of you maybe don’t believe in this beetle, bug and bumblebee bonanza of bizarre: if so, we encourage you to discover more at
This circus is also proudly member of the Insect Circus Society ( founded in 1933 by legendary impresario “Lord” George Piper).


J. Kurt Spence said...

I tried to go to your link but it did not work. I beleive there is not an S in the link. It is Very interesting however.

Ronald McPeak said...

Here at the Insect Circus we love your writeup of our museum and wish you happy greetings! The Insect Circus website is: Thanks, Mark Copeland (aka Ronald McPeak) Creative Director, Insect Circus.

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