Circus act can light up in Halifax

A SMOKING contortionist will be allowed to light up on stage at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax – despite health and safety fears voiced at another venue.

The Circus of Horrors returns to Calderdale next month, celebrating 15 blood-soaked years with its new show The Four Chapters from Hell.

Its organisers accused a Norfolk council of "going health and safety mad" by banning contortionist Kristiana from smoking on stage as part of her act.

The performer fires a bow and arrow from her feet while contorting, which King's Lynn Borough Council had no problem with, said Dr Haze, creator of the Circus of Horrors.

But officials have overruled a condition which formed part of the smoking ban introduced in 2007 that smoking would be allowed in a live performance if it was integral to the show.

Dr Haze said: "We certainly do live in a crazy PC world. Local government seems to ban things just to be seen doing what it perceives is the right thing. We've not been shot down in a ball of flames quite yet and have produced a risk assessment for smoking and submitted it to the council."

He said the Norfolk council had no issues with any part of the show, which includes a girl walking up a ladder of swords in her bare feet, a dwarf pulling a vacuum cleaner with an unusual part of his anatomy, a sword swallower who swallows a revolving electric drill, flying trapeze artistes, a person pumping 300,000 volts through his body and 20 fire eaters.

The Circus of Horrors arrives in Halifax on Saturday, February 12 (7.30pm), before its scheduled visit to King's Lynn's Corn Exchange on March 24.

Victoria Theatre marketing manager John Sell said: "As the act has been described to us, it does not pose a problem."

* Should Kristiana be allowed to smoke as part of her act? E-mail us: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk