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Cirkus Merano (1975 - 2015)



  • Existence: 1975 - 2015


Cirkus Merano was established by Knut Dahl on 18 April 1975 in Norway.

Knut fell in love with the circus as a child in his native Oslo. At a very young age, he started to do small jobs every season when the circus visited the city in exchange for a free ticket, and started to collect posters and programmes. At sixteen years of age, he started to travel with Norwegian and Italian circuses on school holidays and learning the business. By the time he was twenty two, Knut opened Cirkus Merano and became the youngest circus director in the world. Although at first the circus was only small, it soon became a success and started to compete with the then popular Cirkus Arnardo. From the beginning, Cirkus Merano presented an innovative programme of acts that delighted its audience with a great parade and finale, which become their trademark.

By the late 1980s Cirkus Merano was touring around Norway and Sweden and in 1990 they incorporated troupes from the Russian State Circus to their shows and started to tour in Poland. The circus and its menagerie continued growing until in 2002 the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture announced that the transport of elephants in country was going to be banned. Knut took this as a personal attack against his treatment of wild animals and a public confrontation between the men arose, after which Knut disheartened briefly closed the circus. He soon returned to business, encouraged by public support and continued running the business until 2015, when it closed permanently. During the forty years Cirkus Merano was operating, it became one of Europe's leading circus companies.

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Christopher Palmer Collection

Reference code: NFA0105
Scope and Contents

Circus programmes and VHS tapes from Billy Smart’s Circus and Chipperfields’s Circus collected during the 1970s and early 1980s by the TV producer, Christopher John Palmer. There are also a number of promotional photographs of artistes and other ephemera related to the circus.

Dates: 1973 - 1983

Circus Roncalli First 15 Years, Circus Merano, Cirque du Soleil and Archaos: A Circus Spectacular Films, 1985 - 1991

Reference code: 178D13.10
Scope and Contents WDR, Channel 4. Colour and black and white, sound and background music. DVD1'The Trip to the Rainbow' 15 Years, Circus Roncalli 1991 tv broadcast, narrated in German, showing circus acts including clowning, acrobatics, juggling, etc, Circus Merano tv broadcast, narrated in Swedish?, showing circus acts, 02:00:21 mins. DVD2 Cirque du Soleil 'Nouvelle Experience' tv broadcast showing contorsionists, clowns, acrobats, etc, commercial advertising, Circus Archaos tv broadcast, The Last Show on...
Dates: 1985 - 1991

Cirkus Merano Poster, c1980 - 1989

Reference code: 178R27.34
Scope and Contents

Colour illustration of clown and elephant by Thomas. Left blank for overprinting location and date.

Dates: c1980 - 1989

Cirkus Merano Poster, c1980 - 1989

Reference code: 178R27.50
Scope and Contents

Colour illustration of clown and elephant by Thomas with tear off tickets. Left blank for overprinting location and date.

Dates: c1980 - 1989

Cirkus Merano Poster, c1993

Reference code: 178R27.51
Scope and Contents

Bodo. Colour illustration of clown and elephant by Thomas.

Dates: c1993

Cirkus Merano Poster, c1984

Reference code: 178R27.52
Scope and Contents

10 Year anniversary. Colour illustration of clown and elephant and cake by Thomas. Left blank for overprinting location and date.

Dates: c1984

Cirkus Merano Poster, 1994

Reference code: 178R27.53
Scope and Contents

Oslo. 20th Year anniversary. Colour illustration of clowns and elephant by Thomas.

Dates: 1994

Cirkus Merano Programme, 1977

Reference code: 178K41.16
Scope and Contents

Tito Reyes balance act, Hergotti poodles, Mical Chen trick cyclist, Gerard Edontrapeze, Bocky, Randel and Co. clowns, Burger Sisters aerialists, Martin granger puppets. Contains colour illustration on cover with photos, 16p.p.

Dates: 1977

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Reference code: NFA0089
Scope and Contents The Cyril Critchlow collection contains programmes, posters, handbills, books and magic journals, many of which relate to shows in Blackpool where Cyril resided and includes material on entertainment venues such as Blackpool’s North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower Circus and a small collection of programmes from other national venues. Additionally, it contains circus photographs and postcards mainly of the Ohmy Circus and Sanger Circus including individual circus troupes and performers...
Dates: c1837 - 2008

Posters, c1887 - 2010

Reference code: 178R27
Scope and Contents

Circus, variety, pantomime and magic posters including Argyle theatre, Liverpool Empire, Blackpool Tower Circus, Robert Brothers, Austen Brothers, Sorcar, Vesta Tilley, Ken Dodd, Dan Leno, Florrie Forde and others.

Dates: c1887 - 2010

Programmes, 1970 - 1981

Reference code: 178K41
Scope and Contents

Programmes for various British and international circuses including Billy Russell's, Blackpool Tower, Fossett's, Chipperfield's and the Toni Boltini's Circus.

Dates: 1970 - 1981

Additional filters:

Archival Object 9
Collection 2
Acrobats 5
Aerialists 4
Animal trainers 4
Animals 10
Business 1