Circus contracts

Richard Leigh

Richard is a solo theatre magician and has over 9 hours of magic routines to offer and over 35 years of experience behind him. As you (Circus proprietor … a big hello) scroll through the images of the majority of my (Richard) hand made and hand painted creations, my love of Circus I hope is very clear. It’s been a huge passion for as long as I can remember. And yet the only area of our profession open to magical performances I have not worked in is CIRCUS ….

As yet …

This section of my website is to offer ideas out to the Circus families worldwide where my creations and performances may be good ideas for future programming either inside the ring, or within extra tents or rooms outside of the main ring

Although I have personally never performed in the ring, I have for the past 23 years been in residency with the ‘Welcome to the Magic Theatre’ project and with a wonderful intimate theatre show called ‘The Magic Cavern’ in London, where the spaces have been predominantly with audiences on three sides. I am interested in opportunities to transfer these routines inside the ring. Either presented personally or my routines taught by me to circus company members, dancers or troupes known to you.

These presentations will be ‘first time in Circus’ and so hopefully attractive. It’s also a second or third routine and style for artistes known to you.

Each theatre headline show of mine listed on this site and below is constructed with scenes of 12 minutes each. Each scene (subject to availability) is perfect for a stand alone Circus routine. A pot full of choices to hopefully fit into a future theme for the season or style.

Headline Magic Shows

Have a look and if any of the styles seem to spark an idea, then please allow me to expand on that information.

‘The Magic Cavern’
– 80 minutes

‘The Magic Toy Theatre and Orchestra – 80 minutes

‘The Fun Fair at the Magic Theatre’ – 80 minutes

‘The Side Shows of Wonder’ – 80 minutes

‘The Spooky Magic Theatre’ – 80 minutes

‘The Superstitious Magic Show’ – 80 minutes

These shows above are available within a ‘Theatre of Magic’ scenario.

Circuses of yesteryear as we all well know had their secondary spend attraction as guests left the tent after the performance. The Zoo, the Side Shows …. It’s this side of the Circus of yesteryear which has always fascinated and inspired my art and my magic creations.

Maybe, just maybe with the right conversation and circumstance the idea of a second smaller tent, ‘The Theatre of Magic’ – scheduling an ever changing variety of magic shows that have the same audiences as the main Circus event and programmed at a time in between the main shows, or before, or after …. Would this help that secondary attraction financial gain opportunity for the Circus business.

It would certainly create more footfall around the food, drink and merchandise stalls. As my shows are predominately one man shows, yes it’s extra hours or people for the duration, but it is an added attraction and extra income.

Side Shows and attractions

With even smaller tents with a smaller ticket price allows the circus guests an extra 45 minutes in your company before they head back to their cars to go home. This next set of stories goes right back to when the Circus or fair could afford a sideshow called ‘The Girl to Gorilla’ as their secondary attraction which made them a fortune. An expensive lease or buy in the first place, but a money making attraction once set up.

All my routines within ‘The Fun Fair at the Magic Theatre’ together with the exhibits within ‘The Side Shows of Wonder’ can be used as smaller tented attractions around the main event, giving a taster of those side show stories of past glorious times.

These pieces of magic include all props, tables, banners and headers to present. If you can supply the tents, sheltered spaces etc that are required for customers comfort, then let’s look at the environment and see what could be an extra presentation for these fun games, which all have magical twists along the way or the numerous Side Show attractions I have available and am constantly creating.

Presented by myself Richard Leigh, or again taught to circus performers.

Keep this one quiet ….. it’s in the halfway point of creation. But, as and when … I will have to offer that old money making gift of the story of ‘The Girl to Gorilla’ just mentioned above …. Guests paying a small fee, in and out, every seven minutes, screaming and creating a longer queue of ticket buyers as they exit .. Yes, times have changed, but people haven’t that much given the opportunity to live a piece of history, if it’s sold that way. My future story of that ‘Girl to Gorilla’ Side Show is themed around a ‘Cave Monster’ (strangely looking like a Gorilla ….. I rest my case) which also sits within my theme of my full show called ‘The Magic Cavern’

Shhhh on this one as it’s not ready yet. But please of course express any interest, which may give me a kick in the right direction to drink more tea, sleep less and get those paint brushes moving quicker than my usual relaxed pace. Beethoven’s 9th or the 1812 playing loud as I paint will normally do the trick.

Magical scenes within your Circus Production

I create every aspect of my work and I am open and excited about offering my routines/shows as mentioned at the top of this page, on loan to existing artistes known to the circus acts or bookers and to personally teach these routines as additional spots to suitable artistes in current engagements.

The Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth is a circus I have supported and loved throughout my life, having been brought up in Suffolk and then as Great Yarmouth is only a snooze away on the train from Liverpool Street Station via Norwich, I have been fortunate enough to treat myself every year to be in the audience for their seasons. I have never said hello or offered the contents of this website to them, and I must … so Jack, … if you see this, and like this …. it’s yours. A prop and a themed illusion for the harbour scene before their ship heads off for treasure in their Easter holiday presentation of ‘Pirates Live’ There are more scenes I have which fit this scenario as well.

A painting I did because of that thought.

With me working with your creatives behind your future or existing production shows to use my unusual props, and pieces of magic within, taught by me and presented by dancers, circus performers or fellow magicians as additional slots or company routines would allow me to work in your industry without that missing element of actual time in the ring. Having said that …. I’m not old, and new projects always excite me.

I paint and create each piece, and so if one of my creations doesn’t quite fit the theme or story, then the paint brush can instantly come back into play.

My Circus Act

From my huge repertoire of magic created, if I was to pitch an idea for an act (which has had 35 years of audiences to date, but never in the circus ring) then I have no hesitation to tell you these stories below:

‘The Fastest Mathematician’ – is a 12 minute routine which works in the round. I will happily audition this story for you. It’s fun, fast, and an absolute mind bending piece of theatrical magic. A really strong magical story. Plus of course, as my work has not been presented in Circus at all before, this is a ‘first time’ seen story for your posters.

‘The Thumb Tie’ is another 12 minute magic routine which is perfect for the Circus ring, especially following your juggler. Again, I will be more than happy to audition this story for you. This is an incredibly strong piece of magic that has baffled the most knowledgable.

Magic Testimonial

‘As an experienced magician, it’s rare a magic trick fools me badly. Richard Leigh’s masterpiece is where he has an audience member tie his thumbs securely together, creating a handcuff-esque situation; his arms and hands forming a secure, impenetrable loop. Despite this, objects and even people magically pass through this enclosed circle! There are many ways to magically make this happen, yet Richard’s performance floored me! There was simply ‘no way’ – not even a magical one – that I could fathom and so he left me in that rare state; one of wonder. Priceless and forever memorable.’ 

Jay Fortune. Author, Artist and Magician.

If you think these stories and many more like it are worth a look at as you continually search for new acts then please do keep me in mind to audition as and when and please forgive my honesty in the fact that the Circus ring, sadly is a space I have had no experience. Please use that to your advantage. I have new stories to tell the circus fraternity. If you feel like being the first, then please do send me a message. Thank you.

Magical Exhibitions

Back to the smaller tented story attractions. I have an ever changing variety of walk around shows with myself as the curator and side show features. These events are better suited to smaller numbers and are easily presented many times per day or throughout the duration of the time in between your main shows. Unlike ‘The Girl to Gorilla’ story talked about earlier, these products are in existence and ready to talk about should any be of interest.

‘The Magic Art Gallery’ – walk around exhibition as most cross over the themes of magic and Circus, especially from the past.

‘The Side Shows of Wonder’ – also works wonderfully with small numbers of guests each walking around the exhibits with the magician as the host. 30 minutes.

Or below please see a selection of scenes which form the above Side Show themed show which could and do stand alone as single paid entrance tickets per tent which houses the piece of magic/sideshow.

‘The Girl with no Middle’

’The Ghost’

‘The Living Head’

‘The Card playing Hand’

‘The Wishing Well’

‘The Guillotine’

‘The Ghost Train’

‘Roll Up Roll Up’ … the rest is fabulous history ….

Open to conversation, just nudge me away from then paintbrush.

Contact Richard

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