Carnival of the Animals
70 YEARS A SHOWMAN & CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS, Caramantran & Corn Exchange Newbury
Weds 30th May – Sun 2nd Sept 2018, Exhibition at West Berkshire Museum and a Sat 2nd Jun parade at Northbrook Street Newbury
Working with West Berkshire Museum and the National Fairground and Circus Archive, we celebrated the life of one of England’s most successful showmen, ‘Lord’ George Sanger, with an exhibition and a joyful street parade produced by 101.
On Sunday 2nd June, as part of Circus 250 - a national celebration of 250 years of UK circus, a remarkable menagerie of dapper, suited, giant animal puppets paraded to the sounds of a brass street band, The parade was led by a larger than life, 6 meter high puppet of circus impresario George Sanger, created in a collaboration between French puppet specialists Caranmantran and 101s making team.
Members of the Corn Exchange Youth Theatre played an ensemble of energetic performing monkeys, while a giant moving camel puppet followed on, and an elephant carrying a glamorous showgirl. Giant puppets of a zebra, rhino, antelope and gorilla, all wearing suits and waistcoats, performed dance choreography and interacted with the crowd.
Hailing from Newbury, George Sanger was born to a showman father and became an animal tamer, then later a circus proprietor, successfully running shows throughout the nineteenth century with his wife and brother John. He became the president of the Van Dweller’s Protection Association, dedicated to protecting the rights of showmen.
Artefacts specially chosen for the exhibition included remarkable photos of Sanger’s circus never before shown in the UK.