Friday, 28 November 2008

Flea Circus in Tivoli Gardens with Else Torp

Thanks to Magic Puk I got to see this video of a Historical Flea Circus in Tivoli Gardens run by Else Torp. One interesting fact is that she used platinum wires rather than the gold mentioned in a lot of other historical examples. It's also very clear from the film that the fleas are doing the pulling and also that they are walking not jumping which would imply some conditioning on top of the fact that they are restrained by the wires.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Flea Circus Television

A new Flea Circus television channel has just started up on the Mogulus site. The channel shows all things to do with flea circuses and but is happy to include other performing insects too. It aims to show exclusive new video material that's not previously been shown on other locations such as Youtube, MySpace or Yahoo! Video. Graphic designer Rafael Olea Ramirez has kindly provided the logo for the channel.

Watch Flea Circus Television

If you want to submit short films, animations or documentaries then you can reach the organiser Xavier Proubasta at fleacircustv - hotmail - com

Friday, 14 November 2008

Fleas feel the cold too

There are different interpretations of this humorous sketch by political cartoonist John Deering. Perhaps those are cracker crumbs but I like to think of it as fleas eating soup?

Strange Brew by John Deering

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Top 10 flea circus contraptions

Oobject specialise in putting together top 10 lists of gadgets based on people's weblists. As part of their wacky gadgets series they have put together a list of their top 10 flea circus contraptions. By visiting you can vote for your favourite, one of Walt Noon's circuses is currently in first place.

oobject's list of flea circuses

They also have a list of the worlds smallest gadgets.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Buy a flea circus

Martin Duffy has spared time from his busy schedule as a professional performer to tell the Flea Circus Research Library about how he's teamed up with the father and son team from Sven Svenson's Flea Circus to market the flea circuses Eric (the father) builds.

Q: Why did you get into selling flea circuses?

A: In the past Flea Circuses were made pretty crudely with any materials that happened to be at hand. This made them rather awkward to use and notoriously temperamental! Eric looked at it from an engineer's point of view. He has nearly 30 years of "hands-on" experience in many different aspects of engineering and industry. I had bought 3 Flea Circuses in the past made for me by different makers. They all had problems. The Svenson is the first I have been totally happy with. I am very pleased to say that my fellow professionals agree with me. I have exhibited them at magic conventions where they draw extremely favourable comments...and orders!

Q: How does Eric go about making a product that everyone praises?

A: His aim was simple; to create a traditional style Circus that was easy to use, realistic, consistent and great value. In short he wanted to make the best! He uses reliable mechanical controls rather than "electronic", and he only uses the best quality materials.

Q: The Svenson's Flea Circuses contain quite a few new acts, how long does it take to build one of these larger circuses?

A: It normally takes around 3 to 4 weeks work to make one. Other than the trunk or case virtually all parts are made by Eric from scratch (pardon the pun!) from just the raw materials; almost nothing is "off the shelf". The components for the cannon alone take a full day.

Q: Why would a performer want a flea circus?

A: Having a unique presentation that has built-in curiosity value can only lead to higher fees for you.

So whether you want full sized Mossman Flea Circuses or an ultra-portable Cigar Box Flea Circus these are the people to talk to.

Cigar Box Flea Circus

Many thanks to Martin and the Svenson's team for their time and a final word
from Paul Daniels.

"I have seen these props, not just the photographs, and they are beautifully
made" Paul Daniels

Monday, 3 November 2008

Fleas on Radio York 4th November

On 4th November between 11.00am - 12.00pm (possibly around 11.40) BBC Radio York will be interviewing the Father and Son Flea Circus designers, builders and performers of the ‘svensons’ flea circuses

BBC Radio York 103.7 - 104.3 (3 & 95.5 fm)

You can also listen online at