Circus Ethiopia, Preston Park, Brighton (01273 709709) 6pm, to 26 May
Wednesday 20 May 1998
Sir Peter Ustinov has said that Circus Ethiopia made him "realise that it is a privilege to belong to the human race". That's probably putting it a bit strongly, but there is something so defiantly exuberant about these four child prodigies that all thoughts of the daily grind tumble out of view. The circus was founded in 1991 by Marc Lachance, a French Canadian who went to Addis Ababa as a teacher. He was so appalled by the lives of the street children there that he taught some of them circus tricks to help them earn money. His tiny following made an unlikely debut as a troupe, performing at the city airport, while being evacuated to Israel. The circus is now well established across Ethiopia, with 1,000 members and regular, massively popular free shows. This tour - in Brighton until Tuesday before relocating to London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 28 May - isn't, but for your money, you'll get some of the best African music, juggling and acrobatics to be found north of the equator. Dominic Cavendish
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