Medieval Fairs

Performed to celebrate religious events or to sell the crops and products brought from far off. Taking advantage of the Fair's season and the crowds that gathered around these events acrobats, tightrope walkers, puppeteers, tamed animals and other phenomena travelled throughout Europe amazing people for a couple of coins. One of the most important and long lasting fairs was Saint Bartholomew in England, performed from 1133 to 1855.

Medieval fair with Learned Pig, Isaac Fawkes and Mr. Punch

"Learned Pig" Biography

In the XVIII century, there was great fascination in Europe about acts with tamed animals, however, no one ever thought that a pig could learn any tricks since they were considered stupid and filthy animals. Nevertheless, Scottish Samuel Bisset, using his unknown training technique was able to train a black piglet called Toby to make people believe that by choosing some cards with his snout, Toby was able to solve mathematical problems, or answer questions from the audience and even spell words. When Bisset died, the pig still performed successfully throughout England, but when he got older and less agile, his fate changed and he was
sold to a butcher.

Isaac Fawkes Biography

(1690-1731) - Isaac was born in England and was the most famous magician of the XVIII century. Even now his name is commonly used as a synonym of the word "Magician". Isaac started his career in 1720 in ambulant fairs, especially Saint Bartholomew. He transformed his magic presentations in complete shows hiring acrobats and contortionists and showing complex automats and mechanical wonders. In his most famous trick he threw a bundle of cards to the air and then transformed the cards into birds.

"Mr. Punch" Biography

At the beginning he was one of the characters of the Comedy of Art called Pulcinella in Italy and Polichinela in France. In 1662, an Italian puppeteer took this character to England in the form of a marionette and his anarchic personality immediately enthralled the audience. Mr. Punch is an ugly conky hunchback with whining voice that represents all the defects of human beings, however in spite of that (or because of that) he always overcome all the troubles he got into, even defeating Satan.

Circus Book