Circus Film Season: The Greatest Show on Earth

Ray Johnson MBE presents …

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952, Director Cecil B De Mille).

Cecil B De Mille’s multi-Oscar-winning epic filmed in the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey 3-Ring Circus. Starring Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Gloria Grahame, Dorothy Lamour. Passions run high between leading characters in a narrative linking a wide range of classic acts filmed in the world’s largest circus.

Following the screening, Ray Johnson will host a lively debate on featuring acts with wild animals in circuses of yesteryear. These acts were never featured by Philip Astley himself. Part of our mini-season of circus films to celebrate Philip Astley and the 250th anniversary of circus, The Greatest Show on Earth will appeal to film students, circus enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys good film and discussion!


Re-issue of Paul Bemrose (1992) Circus Genius – A Tribute to Philip Astley 1742-1814. Available from 7:00pm for £9.99.


Free Screenings at the Film Theatre, College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2EF

Wednesdays, 7.45pm. Bar open from 7.00pm. Ticket-free – No booking required. Free parking adjacent to Film Theatre – enter from College Road opposite Queen Anne Street.

Other Events

Women in Circus – Talk by Professor Vanessa Toulmin

On Thursday 31st May, founder of the National Fairground and Circus Archive, Professor Toumlin will visit the Brampton Museum to give a vital talk about the vital role women have had in circus. In the nineteenth century, women could take roles ...

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Exhibition: Philip Astley’s Life and Legacy – The Philip Astley Project

The free 12-week exhibition will educate and excite adults and young people alike. By viewing circus prints, posters and costumes, visitors will learn about Astley's life and how his career influenced later developments in the performing arts up to the ...

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AstleyFest 2018

Inspired by the astonishing acts, activities and acrobats that made Astley’s original circus so famous across the globe, AstleyFest brings the circus home to Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the man who first made it happen over 250 years ago. Astley Fest ...

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