Entertainment and Live shows – part 2
One of the oldest forms of live entertainment that is still running today is the circus. The idea of a circus involves the central location of a big tent and then a number of acts coming together to produce a show for a paying audience. There are many different acts that are found in a circus which often used to see animals and man working closely together. The circus has a rich and colorful history with there being a wide variety of opinions on how the modern circus has materialized. Ancient circus can be traced back to Roman times when they were housed in the Circus Maximus in Rome. An incredible 150,000 people could be seated to view the chariot races, then staged battles, the gladiatorial combats and all of the other events that were put on show.
In modern times the origin of the circus has been associated with Philip Astley who started displaying his horse riding tricks in an amphitheatre in Lambeth in 1768. He created the 42 foot diameter ring and hired jugglers, clowns and acrobats to perform in the breaks between the riding shows. From this point circuses were performed in grand building such as the London Hippodrome and this was followed by the building of the Amphitheatre Anglais in Paris in 1782. The spectacle of seeing these exciting shows resulted in the circus touring in order reach the people who were living away from the major cities. At the end of the Second World War Circus’s started to lose their popularity. People had been fascinated by the dangerous nature of the acts, but now animal welfare groups, along with health and security measures, combined to take away some of the most exciting acts.
The circus still performs today but they are animal free. They concentrate more on human acrobatics and tend to be on tour during the summer months and in holiday times. The Blackpool Tower Circus still operates today and has been running since 1894. A modern form of entertainment is street theatre. These performers range from buskers to theatre companies and are often hired in by local councils to help with a town’s holiday celebrations.
In previous years street theatre was seen as a reactionary movement and their presence was not always welcome. There are numerous examples of musicians such as Ed Sheeran and Rod Stewart, having played on the streets of London before they went on to sell millions of records. Comedians Steve Martin and Robin Williams also worked on the streets before Hollywood beckoned and they went on to make their fortunes. Today street theatre is looked upon more favorably with towns and cities encouraging normal urban life to be broken up by either musical or theatrical performances taking place.
One of the biggest occurrence of live shows in the UK are sports events. Since the end of the 19th century people are fascinated by the spectacles of seeing top class sportsmen perform. Even with the saturation of televised sports shows, this has not stopped people braving the weather to go and watch matches. Maybe it is the idea that going to watch a match live is healthier than watching it on a sofa while it is being relayed on television makes it popular. Each week millions of people will travel many miles to go and watch a sporting fixture.
The attraction of doing this has been increased by the construction of state of the art stadiums up and down the country. As well as being able to house more spectators these venues provide great facilities for the paying public, plus producing the world’s best playing surfaces, so that the players can perform on. As society has progressed the public’s desire to be entertained has increased. This has led to more and more entertainments becoming available as people continually search for different ways in which they can be entertained.