The circus is in town!

One of the most exciting entries in the new batch of material just added to the Dictionary of Sydney is Mark St Leon’s richly illustrated essay on Circus in Sydney.

The three St Leon brothers, Reg, Cass and Syl, with Mo Aaron and George Smith, who had an acrobatic and comedy act which was seen in Sydney in the early twentieth century. Courtesy Mark St Leon collection

Mark is the acknowledged expert on Australian circus and comes from a famous circus family, many of whom are mentioned in his article, including the Five St Leons, pictured. He’s been generous with his private collection of circus images, multimedia and ephemera, and we’ve also gathered a range of images that show Sydney enjoying circus entertainment over a very long period.

Circus offered employment and artistic opportunities to women, Aboriginal and migrant performers, and combined a showbiz life with travel as well as performing animals, such as the talking horse, Mahomet, described in the article.

Mark St Leon’s new book Circus: The Australian story will be published by Melbourne Books in May this year. Keep an eye out for it.


About Emma Grahame

Emma Grahame has been Editorial Coordinator of the Dictionary of Sydney since May 2007.
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One Response to The circus is in town!

  1. Pingback: Contributor news | Looking up — Sydney's history from a new angle

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