Geordie priest blesses circus performers' stunt bikes at the Angel of the North
Brazillian circus performers have had their stunt bikes blessed by a Geordie priest while on tour in the North East.
The unique blessing saw a troupe of artists from Planet Circus pay a visit to the Angel of the North before entertaining crowds at their first show in Gateshead. Eight stunt riders met Reverend George Lackenby from St Andrew's Church in Lamesley at the iconic sculpture on Tuesday before performing some stunts on their bikes in front of visitors.
Rev Lackenby then followed the performers to the Planet Circus base at Horseworld in Lamesley where he blessed a new stunt ramp ahead of their first Gateshead show.
Planet Circus PA Jo McMullan said: "When we have a new piece of equipment we like to get a priest out to bless it. We have a couple of new bikes and wanted the priest to bless the bikes and come back to the show to bless our new ramp.
"It is something unique to Planet Circus, I don't think any other circuses do it. Our stunt riders are quite religious and it makes them feel better when they do their stunts."
Planet Circus will be performing two shows a day in Gateshead until Sunday, May 22. Owned by Pavel Pavlov, the "family circus" will see visitors entertained by artists including tight rope walkers, trapeze artists and stunt bikers.
'Andrea the Clown,' who is said to have been a hit with the North East crowds in previous years, will also be performing each day.
"We have been running for 11 years and have performers from all over the world," Jo said.
"Andrea the Clown is really popular with everyone in the North East. She was with us when we visited a few years ago and has a big following in the region - all the locals love her.
"Visitors can expect performances including the 'Wheel of Death' and 'Globe of Death."
Planet Circus is performing at 5pm and 7.30pm on weekdays and at 12.30pm, 3pm and 6pm on Saturdays. For more information and to book, click here.