This film is part of Free

It’s The Circus Parts 1 & II, Olympia

Bears, tigers and elephants perform for the crowds in this compelling colour footage from the Christmas circus at Olympia.

Promotional 1955 15 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


These two films capture entertainment at the circus after the war, with performing animals featuring prominently. It’s rather discomforting watching bears in grass skirts balance on balls, and there are also elephants, chimps and tigers. Human performers feature as well, including clowns, trick cyclists and a little person on a pony. The Bertram Mills Circus was held every Christmas at Olympia for decades either side of the war.