Take your chance to join the circus this weekend as Showzam! comes to town. Blackpool’s annual celebration of circus and cabaret is back, and a series of workshops and heritage tours allow fans a chance to get up close to the magic.
From learning the art of painting your face like a clown to mastering the tricks of the trade Barnum style, a series of workshops throughout Showzam! will give youngsters the opportunity to find out all about life in the circus and the art of performance.
And if entertainment history is more your thing, there are heritage tours taking you behind the scenes at the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens.
The workshops and tours take place during Showzam! 2015 which runs from Saturday until Wednesday – complementing a whole range of shows and performances.
Michael Trainor, artistic director at LeftCoast which has programmed this year’s festival, said the packed programme provided something for everyone. He said: “There is always a series of workshops and heritage tours during Showzam! which prove extremely popular.
“People love to come and learn some tricks and have fun being creative while it’s always fascinating to be able to take a step back in time with the experts and learn all about the heritage of some of Blackpool’s most amazing attractions.”
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is hosting many workshops, with Tuesday the main day of action – when Aeriel Hoop It and Contort It, plus the Big Top Blow Out, take place.
The latter launches the day at 10am with a workshop on how to become some of the resort’s best-loved characters Bradley or Bella Beaver and even Kandy Floss.
Then at 11.30, an ‘expert in bending’ will be teaching the tips of contortion, followed at 2pm and 3.30pm by an aerial hoop workshop.
Starting the week, find out all about face painting and learn the techniques clowns have to perfect for their every day look, with sessions at 10am and 2pm.
The tricks of the ‘greatest showman on earth’ PT Barnum will be revealed by Russ Brown in Sunday’s workshop, Barnum – Scams and Tricks of the Trade, at 11am and 2pm.
For more details of the Pleasure Beach’s Showzam! sessions, visit www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.con/shows.
n Former Pleasure Beach company secretary David Cam will lead you on a behind the scenes tour on Monday and Tuesday, from 10am, costing £14. The Tower opens its doors on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Winter Gardens tours run from Saturday to Tuesday – as part of the complex’s Showzam! Central offering.
SHOWZAM! Your full line up:
Circolombia, Circus Arena, Blackpool Tower. Saturday, February 14 to Wednesday, February 18, 2.30pm. £8 adults, £5 under 14s, £20 families (2+2).
Showzam! Carnival Ball, Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Saturday, February 14, 7.30pm. Tickets £20.
The Monsters Of Schlock, The Pavilion, Winter Gardens. Sunday, February 15 to Tuesday, February 17, 7.30pm. £8, over 16s only.
Abigail Collins: Peggy Sued in ‘Leaving Las Vegas (Again)’, The Pavilion, Winter Gardens. Sunday, February 15 to Tuesday, February 17, 9pm. £8, over 18s only.
Showzam! Central, daily from Saturday, February 14 to to Tuesday, February 17, 11am to 4pm. A free-of-charge family circus and street arts extravaganza.
Incl: Abigail Collins, The Horseshoe, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11.45am, 1.15pm and 2.45pm; Barnard, Hicks and Jones – Illusions, Delusions, Delight and Glory, The Horseshoe, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11.15am, 12.45pm, 2.15pm and 3.45pm; Bootworks Theatre – The Black Box, Little Box Of Horrors, The Theatre Bar, Winter Gardens, noon and 2.30pm; Christophe Pavia – Mysteriouses Coiffures, The Floral Hall, Winter Gardens, noon and 2.30pm; Circo Rum Ba Ba – L’Hotel, The Floral Hall, Winter Gardens, Monday and Tuesday, 12.45pm and 3.15pm; The Whale, Derham Lounge, Winter Gardens, Saturday and Sunday, 11am, 11.30am, 1pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 3.30pm; Close Act – Saurus, Saturday to Tuesday, town centre, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm; Delinus – Suzy, town centre, Saturday to Tuesday, 11am, 12.45pm and 2.30pm; Hocus Pocus Theatre – The Sideshow of Curiosities, The Horseshoe and town centre, various times; Kumpania Algazarra – A Festa Continua, town centre, Sunday to Tuesday, 1.15pm and 3pm; Magmanus, Grand Vestibule, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 12.15pm and 3pm; Meet Pete Sweet, Grand Vestibule, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11am and 1.45pm; Pickled Image – The Marvellous Box Of Peeps And Delights, The Floral Garden and West Horseshoe, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, noon, 2pm and 3.30pm; Pikz Palace – Boucherie Bacul, West Horseshoe, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11am, 1pm and 3pm; PLUNGEBOOM – Vegetable Nannies, town centre, Saturday to Tuesday, 11.45am, 1.30pm and 3.15pm; The Accidental Steam and Pressure Navigation Company (Manchester Ltd – The Galvonium, The Floral Hall, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11am and 1.30pm, and Tonefloat, Winter Gardens entrance, Saturday to Tuesday, 12.15pm and 3.15pm; ULIK – Mecanocomic, The Floral Hall, Winter Gardens, Saturday to Tuesday, 11.45am and 2.15pm.
n Showzam! Central workshops, The Pavilion, Winter Gardens. Lost In Translation Circus hosts workshops from 11am to 4pm from Sunday to Tuesday, in object manipulation, acrobatics and mini tramp.
n Showzam! Showroom, Grandy Art Gallery, until February 21, 10am to 5pm. Circus and magic themed works, produced by, for and with Fylde Coast schoolchildren. Free activities will also take place during Showzam!.