Dea Birkett

As circus gets serious, is all the fun of the fair lost?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What’s so serious about a red nose? How should we analyse the ‘specific socio-historical relations’ and ‘aesthetic trends particular to…

Why do we envy nomads but treat Travellers so badly?

25 April 2021 5:00 pm

Oh for the open road! Who doesn’t want to abandon the suffocating suburbs – waking to an alarm at the…

Has Covid killed off Punch and Judy?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

They’re one of the country’s most famous married couples. You just need to spot his colourful jester outfit and the…

How to travel in the captivity of your home

2 August 2020 5:00 pm

We can’t travel with ease anywhere, anymore. First it was Spain, now Luxembourg is the latest holiday spot to require…

The curious history of Britain’s last circus building

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Guess which theatre is the first to open to the paying public post-Covid? Not Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium, where small…

The faded charm of the Isle of Wight

11 January 2020 9:00 am

I was worried my first trip to the Isle of Wight might be too late. These days, a holiday island…

Why I’m sick of politics being described as a circus

31 August 2019 5:09 pm

Jon Sopel has a new book out this month – A Year at the Circus. But the BBC’s North America…

Pitcairn Island, 1957

Living on Pitcairn showed me that island life is no paradise

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Islands have a special appeal. We imagine that on an island we’ll somehow ‘get away from it all’. In the…

Victorian lady travellers aren’t feminist role models – they were tyrants

30 March 2019 9:00 am

They cut virgin paths through tropical forests, paddled dugout canoes over West African rapids, sailed along the Yangtze in a…

When I see an elephant fly: a scene from Tim Burton’s Dumbo

Clumsy, long and lacking circus thrills: Tim Burton’s Dumbo reviewed

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Dumbo is an elephant we can’t forget. More than 70 years since Disney’s 1941 film, the big-eared baby is still…

In defence of circus animals

27 October 2018 9:00 am

In a British circus, you will no longer find big cats, dancing bears or sea lions balancing on balls. Anne,…

Advertisement for circus acts at the Da Shi Jie entertainment complex, Shanghai

The circus visits every corner of the globe — even Antarctica

13 October 2018 9:00 am

We’re celebrating 250 years of circus this year. In 1768, the retired cavalryman and entrepreneur Philip Astley, together with his…