Welcome back in the time to the 1950s circus.. At Goodwood Revival!

This year we got a very special commission from Goodwood Revival. They wanted us to come in and custom design and create a 1950s circus costume and circus act selection to inhabit their circus area. And that’s just what we did!

Welcome to the 1950s! Where a touring circus was a piece of magic you’d only get to witness once a year! The 50s was simple, yet glamorous. The make-up was neat, that hair was sculpted and the colour palletes and fabrics were simply to die for. What really makes this costumes look of the 50s? Here’s some iconic examples – the red lip, the neat cateye flick, the curly poodle hair and also the cuts of the costumes like the frills along the neckline. These are all elements of a vintage past. It’s always a little different designing costumes for circus performers. You really need to consider the exact skill they’re performing, what limitations this causes, how flexible and durable the fabric and accessories need to be, what will cause problems for the act and how to get around it. So baring all this in mind, we designed the costumes, the hair looks, the make-up looks and the acts to aesthetic and useable perfection. All the music was of the time period. Everything about these acts looked and felt authentic to watch. We had 6 x 20 mini shows per day with a ring master. Each show would have 2 or 3 circus acts along with a flash mob dance act to finish. It was certainly a very exciting weekend!

So what did we make for this very exciting breif? Read on to find out..

No.1 – Acro Ladies

Look at this talented belle! Together with her acro partner they create quite the impressive display. A beautiful blend of acrobatics, contortion and grace. Let’s look at the costumes! These little jumpsuits are simply adorable! Fashioned of the 2 beautiful shades of velvet and finished off with a seamless star embossed belt, they are simply perfect. we chose to go with the classic 50s red lip and flick and then a well styled 50s poodle hairstyle. There you go – straight from the 50s!

No.2 – Sword Swallower

Moving onto our next artist.. Our fabulous sword swallower (among other skills)! The stripe cat suit is a perfect replication of a famous contortionist from the 1950s. Make-up for male performers was very minimal at this time so that is what we’ve stuck with. The bow on the collar is very cute!

No.3 – Juggling Duo

Onto our jugglers, these costumes are simple, but very effective! Lovely teal bottoms with an open golden waistcoat. Perfect for all their moving and performing needs! Again, we’ve tweaked the colour pallete but that cut is referenced authentically. We really wanted things to feel like a blast from the past so we stayed as close and true as we could but a bit of creative freedom to flatter.

No.4 – Fire Eater

Our fourth act brings us to our infamous fire eater! This was a slightly more complex costume to work on. We designed a 3 piece costume for a european feel – as it was very normal have performers from other countries tour with a circus over this time, just like it is today! With carefully sewn tubes and very pretty trinkets to decorate, this one really is a beauty close up.

No.5 – Strong Man

The next act brings us on to our strong man! A man of pure muscle, might and an impeccable moustache! Whether he’s lifting heavy, flexing for the ladies, balancing on chairs or even balancing on his head, he is certainly one to impress! For costume we stuck with a very traditional leopard print off shoulder body piece and a brown belt to accessorise. Simple but very recognisable of this skill, not only in the 50s but it actually dates back for quite some time too!

No.6 – Traditional Clowns

Presenting.. The very silly and very excitable traditional clowns! We’ve played a slight twist on this design. While clowns of the time were traditionally male with a more red and green colour palette and garish hair and make-up – we have glamorised this look a little (still sticking to 50s feel) to make them more approachable, especially to prevent them having a scary finish. In order to do this we had a fabulous female clown duo and a beautiful pastel colour palette. We still have the oversized bow, the jacket with big pockets, a traditional clown make-up design and the fabulous 3/4 length trousers.

No.7 – Hula Hooper

Last but not least, we have our elegant vintage hula hooper. A lady of incredible manipulation skill and extreme classic beauty. For this costume we went with a super cute little 2 piece and a feather head for the walkabout sets. The silver appliques match the hoops perfectly – it’s simply such a lovely combination to look at and really sparkles in the light too. With a perfect pink lip to match and a vintage updo with victory rolls either side, we certainly feel stuck in the 50s with this look.

Have you enjoyed reading about our blog about our 1950s circus costume commission? What was your favourite act?

Let us know below!

Thank you for taking the time read about our blog on our Goodwood Revival commission! Looking for your own custom package? To find out more – the best way to book is to pop us an email to info@valerianentertainment.co.uk with what you’d like, the date, location, times and any unique event details. We have so many options to choose from and we’re always excited to make more. We can’t wait to bring the magic to your event!

We can’t wait to hear from you so get in touch to book your entertainment this year!

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest blog!

 The team at Valerian Entertainment 

Haven’t seen quite what you’re after? Check out our acts section! We also take custom commissions so the possibilities are truly endless!


We create everything in-house here at Valerian Entertainment. If you’ve got an idea, a theme or a complete vision, we can create it. Get in touch to speak to one of our entertainment professionals and let us make your event sparkle and truly stand out above the rest.

Did you enjoy these acts and want to see more of them?

>> Head over to our ACTS SECTION <<

What next?

Feeling inspired about entertainment at your next event?

Get in touch to discuss your entertainment options and let us make your event stand out! If non of these acts quite fit your theme, we still have plenty of other acts to choose from to suit your spooky needs!

We can also custom make any characters or themed package you need to get in touch for a personalised quote.

If you’re still unsure on what to choose for your event, call or email to speak to one of our entertainment professionals and we will guide you and ensure you find the perfect option for your event.

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