By Simon Donohue
Two reviews in one here: one of the most hotly-anticipated new films in ages, and one of the region’s oldest tourist attractions.
Set mainly in Florida and on a fictional Welsh island, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children also pays a visit to… Blackpool Tower Circus. And so did we!(see the gallery below).
Based on the magical series of novels by American author Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s story will fire your imagination. Jacob Portman’s grandfather, Abe, tells him stories of his own childhood, illustrated by fabulous old fairground curiosity photographs. Abe describes the children in the photographs as having peculiarities. One is lighter than air and must wear lead boots, another is a boy who has bees living inside him.
When Jacob’s grandfather dies in terrible circumstances, he sets out to discover the truth about those stories and the monsters he believes are responsible for his death.
You’ll be familiar with the film’s gothic feel from the other work of director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands). It’s a bit dark for younger kids in places, so may not be suitable for youngsters who are prone to nightmares!
I’m not convinced that it has the same power onscreen as it does on paper but I’d still recommend it.
Blackpool Tower Circus
Famous film locations are always popular places to visit and I can see Blackpool Tower Circus becoming even more of a crowd-pleaser following the release of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
The film calls in at the Fylde coast resort as it reaches its finale. The brilliant Blackpool Tower Circus provides a backdrop for scenes featuring Samuel L Jackson as a villain. North Pier also takes a supporting role.
By total coincidence, we visited the circus in late September and can thoroughly recommend it – a thoroughly brilliant way to spend a couple of hours.
There are no animals these days so the performers are all humans with apparent super powers of their own. No one had bees living inside them but the trapeze artists did have incredible strength and precision. The whole thing is amazingly slick, more gripping in many ways than any Hollywood movie.
Its’s an absolutely stunning theatrical space too, with gilded plaster work and reminders of just how spectacular Blackpool must have been at one point in its history.
The circus is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mooky and Mr Boo the clowns. And now there’s even more reason to pay a visit.
If you’re going to be in Blackpool for the illuminations and like films, perhaps call in at the Star Trek 50th anniversary exhibition too.
Blackpool Tower Circus: More details at the official Blackpool Tower website.
Gallery: Our visit to Blackpool Tower Circus