"If you're narrow minded or killjoys then for goodness' sake stay outside," warns Wally Shufflebottom Snr. as he warms up a chilly 1970s crowd for "the great striptease knife throwing". Inside the tent, it’s "cold steel against warm flesh" for Fearless Pauline - "the girl with the nerve of steel". Music plays, girls gyrate on podiums and Wally and his wife reveal all about their amazing sideshow.
Wally’s father was Yorkshire Buffalo Bill impersonator Texas Bill Shufflebottom, whose earlier ‘parading show’ – active in the early years of the 20th century – had featured knife throwing, sharpshooting, clowning, magic lantern slides and silent films. Wally, an expert knife-thrower as his father had been, added striptease to his own time-honed act in order to draw in 1970s audiences.