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Circus Medrano (Established 1875)



  • Existence: Established 1875


Circus Medrano was stablished by Ferdinand Beert (1835-1902), a Belgian circus entrepreneur and performer, in a static building at the edge of Montmartre in Paris. Originally called Cirque Fernando after his owner, who was known as Fernando, it opened on 25 June 1875.

When Fernando retired the management of his circus passes to his stepson Louis Fernando, who although a good artistic director, did not manage to make the circus financially successful. Cirque Fernando finally went into bankruptcy in 1897 and a year later was purchased by its own star clown Geronimo Medrano (1849-1912), who renamed it Cirque Medrano.

Gerome continued managing the circus until his death in 1912. The circus was then left to his wife Berthe (née Perrin,1876-1920) and his five-year-old son Jérôme (1907-1998). Berthe married Rodolphe Bonten, who took over the management of the circus, upon her death in 1920.

During World War II and the German Occupation of France, the lease of the Cirque Medrano, was bought by the owners of Cirque d'Hiver, Medrano’s main competitor, while Jérôme Medrano fought with the resistance. Jérôme return to the circus after the war and continued managing it until 1962.

The Cirque Medrano gave its last performance on 7 January 1963 and the building was demolished in 1974.

Circus entrepreneur Raoul Gibault leased the Medrano name rights from Jérôme Medrano and continues travelling branches of the circus today under various names including Cirque Medrano-Raoul Gibault, Medrano's Cirque sur l'eau and Medrano's Cirque de Saint Petersbourg.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Circus Friends Association Collection

Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Circus Photographic Album, c1970 - 1989

Reference code: 178C108.5136
Scope and Contents

Photograpic album containing colour photographs of a selection of British and European circuses including; Circus Barum, Hoffman, Moscow State Circus, Circo Medrano, Knie and Fossett's Circus and performers, 18p.p

Dates: c1970 - 1989

Circus Scrapbook, 1949 - 1961

Reference code: 178G21.87
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook containing newspaper and magazine cuttings on British and foreign circuses in colour and black and white, including Circus Medrano, Hunt Bros. Royal International Circus, Bertram Mills, Smarts, Fossetts, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey amongst others, some obituaries, wedding news and other articles on performers and circus news, 34p.p.

Dates: 1949 - 1961

Digger Pugh Collection

Reference code: NFA0179
Scope and Contents

Archive of the Digger Pugh family including newspaper cuttings, photographs, negatives, business records, programmes, research material, posters and films.

Dates: c1930 - 2010

European Circus Programmes, c1950 - 1962

Reference code: 178K56.33-51
Scope and Contents

European Circus programmes including the International Circus Festival, Medrano, Cirkus Scott, Price Circus, Gran Circo de Francia, Deutschlandhalle, Cirque Amar, Pinder and Spanish National Circus featuring the Wallabies, Digger Pugh's Ladies, The Wallabies, Digger Girls. All programmes contain photographs of the acts and descriptions. In various languages.

Dates: c1950 - 1962

Medrano Circus Programmes, 1934 - 1968

Reference code: 178K43.615
Scope and Contents

Medrano Circus programmes containing black and white photographs of performers and acts with information, illustrations, programme and commercial advertising, some contain hand written annotations.

Dates: 1934 - 1968

Programmes, c1800 - 2019

Reference code: 178K43
Scope and Contents

A collection of mainly British and international circus programmes and some variety and music hall programmes containing circus acts.

Dates: c1800 - 2019