She died doing the job
“You have to really love it to live in the circus. It’s very tough, mentally and physically.” So said Eva Garcia, thirteen years ago.
I was talking to the aerial silk star a couple of days after watching her performance at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. It was the venue’s 100th anniversary season and my first trip to the circus since I was a kid.
Not knowing what to expect I was blown away by the atmosphere of the ancient building, with its ring that transformed into a pool for synchronised swimming, and by the death-defying antics of the performers, not least among them the Valez Brothers and their heart-stopping Wheel of Death.
The world of the ring became fascinating to me, and Eva took me deeper into it, telling me about the tradition that ran through generations of her family, and the hard work, dislocations and operations behind the glamour.
|Eva in the Laura Croft|
costume she wore in her final
The following week, on August 8, 2003, the very day my interview with her appeared in The Stage, Eva fell from the ceiling of the Hippodrome and was killed, during her act.
Eva’s death brought home to me the very real danger that circus performers dice with every day. It made me want to find out more about a breed of entertainer unlike any other.
The Mail on Sunday called it “A brilliant account of a vanishing art form.”
Just last week, This Is Cabaret said “Pack your bags before getting stuck into McPherson’s book; it may leave you yearning to run away with the circus.”
Read it, then go to the circus, thrill to the performers and think of Eva, who died doing the job she lived for, thirteen years ago today.
|Some of the press acclaim for|
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