Under the big top

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ROLL up, roll up – the circus is back in town.

Zippo’s travelling show is trundling back into Glasgow this week, with shows in both the southside and westend.

This year’s production is called Gold – billed as fun for all the family – and even those suffering from coulrophobia (that’s a fear of clowns to you and I) may find themselves charmed by its acclaimed performers.

First up is a Queen’s Park gig, running from Tuesday until Sunday and featuring a host of familiar faces from the prolific circus company.

There’s equestrian princess Yasmine Smart – otherwise known as the first lady of the circus – whose performance promises the epitome of grace and elegance (and, one would assume, a horse or two as well).

For thrill-seekers, there’s the Globe of Death – and yes, it looks as ominous as it sounds.

The performance centres on three motorbikers sealed inside a steel-mesh ball, all hurtling around (although hopefully not on top of) one another at 60 miles per hour – while one brave young lady stands in the centre.

And if you recover from the edge-of-seat stuff, there’s also a French clown couple by the name of Duo Delbosq, joining Zippo’s for the first time this year and presumably providing some light relief.

The circus troupe offers just about every act imaginable under one big top, from Russian acrobats to dancing Zulu warriors, and all are presided over by Norman Barrett MBE – a ringmaster with more than one feathered friend to accompany him on stage.

A worthwhile summer outing on the southside’s doorstep, Zippo’s is bound to impress even the harshest little critics – although they may want to run off and join the circus afterwards.

Zippo’s circus sets up camp at Queen’s Park recreation ground June 19-24 (before moving to Victoria Park). Show times vary and tickets are £8-£22 (£6-£16 concession) from 0871 210 2100.