The West

New big top for teasing debut

Joseph Ashton Circus is ready to launch its new big top with a flurry of femme fatales and feathers.

The previous tent came tumbling down during a storm in Busselton last winter, snapping the trapeze rigging and famous Wheel of Death in half.

"We received word of the incoming storm and hired 20 extra staff to try and pull apart the big top before it hit," Mr Ashton said yesterday.

"Sadly, the storm beat us to it."

Not covered by insurance, the circus decided to replace the canvas big top with a $250,000 PVC tension structure tent from Italy.

"There's only one other tent like this in the world and that's in France," Mr Ashton said.

"We also hired three teams of engineers to reconstruct the trapeze and Wheel of Death so they're now good to go."

The storm did not mark the end for the circus's former tent either.

Now repaired, it's available for hire and was used to host the "Silent Disco" at the Big Day Out festival in Perth on Monday.

The Ashton family have also recruited Hollywood horse trainer and former stuntwoman Zelie Bullen to co-ordinate a new circus horse act.

The new big top, which took a team of 10 two days to put up, now stands tall at Perth's Langley Park, ready for Friday and Saturday night's "adults only" Big Top Tease show with Sugar Blue Burlesque.

"Get ready to see a lot of feathers flying," said Sugar Blue Burlesque's performer Kitty Litteur.

The West Australian

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