This year’s acts at the Christmas Spectacular at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome reminded me of opening a selection of perfectly-chosen presents, each one as delightful as the next.

It’s a show which is heart-warming and magical, funny and edge-of-the-seat thrilling - in short, if you don’t love it, you probably need your pulse taken.

Host Jack Jay has lovely Ben Langley by his side who this year showcases just how clever he is – Ben juggles brilliantly and I loved his musical section where he plays 25 songs which all share the same chords.

If I’ve made that sound less wonderful than it is, I have done him a disservice, because it’s funny and tender at the same time, and shows the many strings of Ben’s bow (or guitar, if we’re being pedantic).

Eastern Daily Press:

After hearing news that Christmas spirit is lacking, show producer, director and writer Jack and co-writer Ben set out to restore the festive feels with plenty of thrills, spills and fun to force the Spirit-o-Meter to spin towards the 100pc mark once again.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that they succeed.

The Estelle Clifton Dancers and their mini-mes, the Children from Dance Estelle, who steal the stage whenever they appear – along with Jack – offer a suitably impressive introduction to each of the acts from all over the world.

And, ladies and gentlemen, what mesmerising acts they are.

Skills abound across this exceptional cast meaning it’s almost impossible to pick a stand-out act because they are ALL stand-out acts.

The show began with The Insuperables from Spain, masters of gymnastic skills who performed a routine on aerial poles which managed to be breathtakingly beautiful and upbeat and fun at the same time. 

Eastern Daily Press:

They returned later with a stunning hand-to-hand balance act which seems to defy gravity, logic and reality, like gymnastic alchemy, pure magic using only their bodies.

Born into a family of performance artists that span multiple generations, circus is in Mexican juggler Eduardo Garza’s blood and his act is fast, furious and jaw-dropping (he, however, drops nothing) while Samuel Perez and Francisco Lopez’s double strap routine is balletic, graceful and acrobatic.

Mountain bike trial athlete, Team GB and Top Gear Live rider, multi-Guinness World Record holder and Ninja Warrior course tester Andrei Burton’s act is astounding.

His control of his mountain bike and the (frankly terrifying) things he does with it are – to quote the child behind me, “next-level gnarly”.

Eastern Daily Press:

He bunny-hops over scaffold poles, vaults over high bars from a standing start, flies through the air and almost gives one of Estelle’s dancers a radical new haircut (well done for not flinching!). Absolutely incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it.

It was great to see Salvatore Sambito again and his fire diablo and cloud swing are always stunning to watch (imagine being able to master fire AND air!) and Miami Flow’s teeter board and Russian swing act is a treat.

As ever, the show does brilliantly to cater to children and their parents – neither party’s attention is ever lost, with plenty of jokes that will go over the heads of tots but also moments of wonder that will delight even the Scroogiest grown-up.

Watching the entire show with eagle eyes are generations of Jays: Peter and Christine, Ben and Jack and young Billy, making sure every single element of every single show is perfect – lights, music, special effects, the water spectacle at the end, the acts, and it’s that eye for detail that makes the Hippodrome the Norfolk treasure that it is. 

If your festive spirit is lacking this year, the Hippodrome most definitely has the cure.

* The Christmas Spectacular Circus and Water Show is at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome until January 8. For more information, visit or call 01493 738877.