It's a clown's life for ex-Redcoat Tweedy
Blackpool has a rich history when it comes to circus.
Blackpool Tower Circus first opened to the public in 1894 and has not missed a season since.
Legendary clown Charlie Cairoli appeared at the tower for 39 years and Britain’s best-known ringmaster Norman Barrett worked the ring for 25 years.
It remains as popular as ever but on Sunday, February 26, a spectacular touring circus will come to Blackpool Opera House to challenge for its crown.
Cirque Berserk is produced by the renowned Zippos Circus and features over 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and death-defying stunt men, joined by award-winning physical comedian Tweedy.
Tweedy is a Scottish clown and has built up a reputation as a clever and hilarious performer, over the past 20 years.
Growing up, he thought of going to art school to learn animation, but then decided he would rather ‘be’ the cartoon than draw it.
The next few years took him all over to learn the art of clowning, including visiting Blackpool Tower Circus.
He told the Gazette: “I got my first job at Butlins Ayr as a Redcoat and tried out clown ideas then.
“When I was there, a group of us had a day trip to Blackpool. I went to the circus while everybody else got drunk!
“While I was at Butlins, I sent out a questionnaire to lots of clowns and circuses, for personal research and got offered a job doing publicity clowning - performing in schools and handing out leaflets as a clown.
“In my first week, the main clown got stuck in traffic, so I stepped into his big shoes and I got offered a job on the back of that, as a circus ring clown.”
Clowning has taken Tweedy all over the world including a two-year stint with the famous Ringling Brothers circus in America. His last visit to Blackpool was to take part in the ‘National Theatre of Variety’ showcase at the Grand Theatre in 2006.
With clowning being such a traditional art form, Tweedy has to work hard to keep his act fresh and relatable.
He added: “I feed off the audience and change the act accordingly, a matinee is very different from an evening performance. “
To book tickets, visit: www.cirqueberserk.co.uk