This week, I met up again with one of my favourite circus performers after about 10 years. Steve Grindle Aka Dingle Fingle.
We first met when he was dressed as a Pierrot clown juggling fine china in the front window of Thomas Goode’s in Mayfair and we since have shared the spotlight with human gorillas, 8 foot penguins and terrifying oversized robots.
Dingle has 30 years’ experience as a multi-skilled clown and a character actor with multiple faces who works in traditional environments like Zippo’s Big Top, as Ring Master and as compere working with hundreds of people.
He also pops up in unexpected places like on top of the O2 and at the London Eye to wow passers-by. He is part of a network of many innovative and unusual entertainers and circus performers for whom he choreographs solo and group performances at both private and corporate events. He fits into themed celebrations and gives energy and interest to hospitality events.
We share favourite acts from over the years especially multi-skilled performers who can take on several different disguises during one event by using a mix of circus, dance or performance skills. The success of an event is often clinched by using entertainers who have proved to be a hit in a different environment and occasion. Innovative and unexpected mix and mingle or staged entertainment in a fairly simple context can have just as impactful an effect as the biggest extravaganza.
Innovation is a winning formula with dance, circus, body art, gymnastics etc mixed, but physical skills that seem impossible to the spectator/guest are often the most mesmerising and popular.
The Olympics have had a significant impact on the level of physicality that is chosen as entertainment at for events enhanced by the massive scale of showmanship and the use of theatre skills, live television, projection and the astounding magic of The Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Olympics has raised the bar on content and scale in live entertainment.
It is no wonder that currently ITV’s Saturday Night show “Splash” which is based on Olympic diving training for celebrities by Tom Daley has Perry the gymnastic and fearless street dancer from Diversity the favourite to win. Already popular at private and corporate events he is up for anything. Win win.