The Big Top

The Big Top site in Birmingham became home to a circus and a fairground
The Big Top site in Birmingham became home to a circus and a fairground

With the war moving into its final year, Clarion, along with the rest of the residents of Birmingham, were reflecting on the damage done to their beloved city. An area in the heart of the shopping centre had been particularly badly hit, and a circus and fairground were erected on the bombed site. This provided some well-needed relief from the trauma of war, and provided an accessible venue for the many emerging talents in the city.

big_top
Drawings of the Big Top performance from a letter by Martin Marshall to Katharine Thomson’s daughter, Margaret.

 katharine_big_top

In 1944, the Choir were proud to present a performance of Professor Edward Dent’s new score of John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” at the Big Top in New Street, Birmingham, as part of the Brighter Birmingham programme, produced by Tom Harrison, with accompaniment on harpsichord by Katharine Thomson.

Katharine Thomson: musical director and piano accompanist
Katharine Thomson: musical director and piano accompanist

Read more about

Birmingham’s Big Top here.

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. My parents met for the first time in the Big Top tent on Christmas Eve 1943.So if New Street hadn’t been bombed and the Big top erected on the rubble site – I would not have been born!!!
    And the film showing that very night in THE ODEON right opposite the Big top??
    THEY MET IN THE DARK starring James Mason.
    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s