Top tier puppeteer Nyron Levy was born and raised in South West London and as a child wanted to be a forensic scientist, explaining this away with, ‘I love riddles and grew up watching Jonathan Creek who could always solve unexplained murders that would seem as if done by magic’. However, via quite a magical route Nyron can be found working the head of Queenie the elephant in Circus 1903, writes Michael Holland.
That journey began with Nyron’s other passion as a young man – dance: ‘I never thought I would be good enough to dance professionally,’ he begins, ‘but that was not the case, and through pursuing dance I learned many skills along the way, including parkour (freerunning), gymnastics, climbing and, of course, puppetry when I was selected as a War Horse puppeteer at the New London Theatre.’
That show went on to be a magnificent success worldwide, which would look good on any CV, so when an audition was posted for an international tour with Circus 1903, Nyron applied. ‘I felt that even though I only have one puppet credit to my name, I had talent that would complement the circus show, having worked stilts before and my other skills learned on musicals such as Fela!, South Pacific and Guys and Dolls, and plays like War Horse and Around the World in 80 Days.’
That Circus 1903 tour took the Londoner to ‘Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney in Australia, followed by a tour of the USA before doing a placement in Las Vegas… We’ve also been to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the Middle East, and now a UK tour finishing at the Royal Festival Hall for our second residence.’
Travelling the world with a circus must be up there with the best of jobs. Nyron elaborates: ‘The best part of this job is working with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. These artists and crew members come from all over the world, do not speak the same first language and have different cultures, but we all get on so well and have so much respect for each other… Everybody loves to share their skills with each other and every show is so enjoyable and enthralling because the level of danger is insane.’
And if that isn’t enough reason for people to book tickets, Nyron adds: ‘For all those thinking to come to see this show, I can only say if you miss out on this opportunity you will be kicking yourself for a long time. This show really is a one of a kind because it represents the Golden Age of circus. There are no tricks or safety wires, just sheer talent in abundance to entertain people of all ages! Book today!’
I get the message and I’ve booked.
Circus 1903 will play at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, from 19 December to 5 January. Times: Varying – See website. Admission: £29.50 – £125.
Main photo: Nyron is far right.