The earliest record of elephants employed as circus entertainment was in 99BC, when the Romans pit the great mammals against each other. But did you know that Singapore is among the 19 countries that have imposed a ban on performing wild animals (includes tigers, lions, elephants, but not domestic pets like dogs) in travelling circuses?
If you’re looking for a memorable spectacle without the animal rights concerns, catch Circus 1903 at Marina Bay Sands, which features the largest elephant puppet in the world (it towers at over 3m) among other death-defying high-wire acts, acrobats, contortionists and more.
Other circus facts you should know:
US$38,000 (S$50,000): The average annual salary of a clown, according to employment search engine Indeed. Rodeo clowns, who distract bulls so that fallen riders can get to safety, earn slightly more, about US$51,000 a year. Hopefully the gig comes with insurance.
7,090: No. of signatures on a petition to stop a Chinese dog circus from performing in Singapore over CNY to usher in the Year of the Dog. Local dog-lovers grew concerned about the inhumane training that the canines undergo at what’s touted as China’s “first and only dog circus”, resulting in the show’s cancellation.
80: No. of stitches on his nose from a skin cancer op Hugh Jackman blew open while singing ‘From Now On’ to impress movie executives for The Greatest Showman, the musical drama film about legendary travelling circus company Barnum & Bailey Circus. Admirable dedication, considering Jackman also reportedly turned down a James Bond role to play the titular showman PT Barnum.
14: The current world record for most balls thrown and caught, set in 2017 by a UK juggler.
CIRCUS 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus is at The Mastercard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from Apr 18 to 29. For more info, go to www.MarinaBaySands.com/ticketing.