Russ has followed in the footsteps of his father who performed as Clown Ki-Ko with Walker the Dog appearing on Billy Smart’s Circus in the 1950’s. Russ, a former Royal Marine has been an entertainer virtually all of his life. He started work in Children’s theatre, then worked in shopping centres, at children’s parties & performing street theatre. He has also worked in comedy bands, dance troupes, at Butlins & Warner Haven Holiday Camps and for Santus & Zippos Circuses
Happy’s Circus was created when Russ was approached by his children’s school PTA who were looking for a different way to raise funds for the school. Russ is the recipient of two prestigious International Clown Awards, Happy was chosen to be one of the clowns in the Johnny Vaughan Show: ‘Clowns Across the Pennines’ which launched BBC3 in 2003. He has also appeared with Ainsley Harriott on ‘Celebrity Ready Steady Cook’ and innumerable roles in theatre and TV
He has been cast as Dame in several pantomimes across the UK. But nothing has surpassed Russ’s proudest memory when he was invited to attend the Queen’s Garden Party in 2012 at Buckingham Palace. Russ is a member of Equity, The Association of Independent Showmen & The European Circus Association. He is honoured to be treasurer of the Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain, a role which keeps him very busy
Russ is Managing Director and founder of Happy’s Circus. He manages the Blue Unit circus, together with his wife, Pat who is the Show Manager and Front of House Manager. Mr Happy has his hands full looking after Serhiy the clown, watch out for loads of fun
Serhiy – The Clown
Serhiy Valkiv began his circus career as a young boy in the Ukraine. He did not come from a traditional circus family but he had a good gymnastic strong body and he wanted to challenge himself and travel the world. His parents managed to get him to the Karandash, the world renowned Moscow circus school, where at the age of fourteen he won a place to study. He trained in all aspects of circus and excelled as an acrobat. He trained in Russian bar and Russian swing. He was always the smallest so he became the flyer, being tossed into the air time & time again. He was also a funny little man & comedy oozed from him at every opportunity, never needing language to communicate his physical comedy. He won a gold medal in 1990 @ the International Circus Festival of Belgium whilst still a student
He progressed to flying trapeze & straps working as the flying acrobat in many circuses across Europe including the Budapest State Circus in Hungary, Cirque Medrano in France, the Florilegio Circo Togni and Circo Weber in Italy. He also worked at x in the then Czech Republic, and the Arnardo Circus in Norway.
It was at the Cardenal Circus in the Canary Islands in 2002 that Serhiy first appeared as Clown developing his very individual rapport with the audience
In 2012, Serhiy crossed the English Channel to work on the Booby Roberts Circus, the Iconic Circus of Horrors & Happy’s Circus. The Blue Unit is named after Serhiy who wears a blue cap. Serhiy is also Tent Master for the Blue Unit
Micaela Cardona hails from a family steeped in the legend of Circus. She is 5th generation circus which means that her family, the Cardona Family were circus performers (on the sides of both of her parents) for four generations before her birth. She was raised on tour, travelling around the world with her parents, learning long distance and performing in the ring from the age of four. Micaela speaks her native Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and English
Micaela started her full-time career in circus at the age of fourteen at the Errani Circus in Italy. She worked with her family in Flying trapeze performing at Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, Circo de Angel Cristo in Spain, Circo Chen in Portugal, Circo Bizzarro in Italy, Circo Raluy in Spain and Circo Benito Larible in Italy & Spain
At the age of twenty-one Micaela’s mother trained and passed onto her daughter the spectacular High-Bicycle Act which had been passed from one generation to the next of her family, when suitable talent appeared. It took many years for Micaela to perfect this incredible balancing act. Micaela moved to Paris in 1994, where she trained in a new act balancing swords & daggars at the Ann Fratellini Circus School. Micaela was invited to train the students in circus arts and fixed trapeze where she taught for a couple of years
Micaela then travelled the world, performing her amazing Sword & Daggar act. With Circo Florilegio, she performed in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland and the UK. More recently she has appeared in the UK with the Bobby Roberts Circus, the Iconic Circus of Horrors & Happy’s Circus
We are proud to have Micaela working on the show, she is a font of great knowledge, a real team player, excellent Linguist and always ready to share her experience with the next generation
Oleg and Anna are from Ukraine. They live and breathe Circus!
Oleg like many children loved to run about madly and could never sit still, so at the age of five, he was sent to train in acrobatics, and then two years later he progressed to gymnastics which he really enjoyed. But most of all he loved the Circus, he was totally entranced every time he went to the circus.
It was a natural choice for him to enter the Circus industry and he studied at the Circus college in Kiev from 2004-2008. He trained as an Acrobat and Juggler and also learnt aerial, dancing, movement, mime and acting. After four years of intensive training, Oleg was offered the opportunity to work as part of a troupe. His first contract was in Germany and he stayed as a core member for three years, working in a number of circuses and even appearing on TV 5 France He worked with Napa jugglers and then as part of a duet called Orange Paradise, They won the bronze in third place @ the Bucharest Festival. Oleg has worked in Turkey, Austria, Africa, France, Bucharest, Taiwan, China and Belarus. Oleg met Anna when they were both working in the Ukraine.
Anna was working as a trapeze artist, they fell in love and decided that they would build a life in Circus together They practised their rhythmic gymnastics and their juggling clubs and won their first contract in China. By the time they secured their next contract in Taiwan they had created a second routine juggling balls. They then went on to develop their aerial straps routine.
As a child Anna trained to be a professional dancer, however at the age of thirteen, her life changed when she was taken to the circus. There was a circus studio, where professional artists were practising amazing skills, the atmosphere was electric, she smelt the sawdust and never looked back.
So, Anna started her basic circus training, she learned the genres: juggling, aerial, trampoline, low wire and more. She trained for 5 years with Prozanimavshis, juggling in a group of four and then she added aerial to her repertoire. When she was 19, she started to work with the Vitaliy Kovtun group in the Ukraine, they worked well, travelling to the UK, India, China, Turkeu Taiwan, developing their acts. Unfortunately, after three years, they disbanded.
Anna graduated from the Academy of Physical Culture as a Fitness trainer and is qualified to teach Physical Education in schools. She has always enjoyed passing on a variety of skills to others
They are devoted to their seven year old daughter, Angelina who remains at home, safe with the family whilst her parents literally work their way around the world.
Oleg has one more passion in his life: Football, he loves football, loves playing football and loves watching football, he knows all about it! Oleg and Anna also love their pets: cats, dogs and a turtle called Kitty who sunbathes under a lamp. Oleg is a happy man, he says his dream was always to work on circuses, travelling the world with the love of his life, sharing a child to go home to, because children are the future. All his dreams have come true!
Yurii was born in 1992 in the city of Kiev, Ukraine. His mother was a proficient Circus artist and ran a Childrens’ Circus studio in Kiev where Yuri started his circus training in 2014. He learnt the basic circus skills which all students learn: juggling, the diablo, hula hoop, acrobatics and aerial routines.
However, Comedy Characterisation and dancing were the genres at which he excelled, particularly in his interpretation of Mr Slinky. Yurii has been touring schools & clubs and appearing in Circuses in Ukrainian cities since 2015. In the UK he introduces Mr Slinky to children (and adults) and new audiences every day are mesmerised by this very strange creature from another world.
His hobbies are sports, gymnastics, computers and all things Circus art.
Yurii also spends time attending English Language classes to improve his English. He speaks each year with more confidence. Well done Yurii…and welcome back!
Andrii & Anastasiia met in 2016 at the circus studio Vostorg, Kharkov, Ukraine.
Andrii was born in the Ukraine, into a family of Circus artists who were animal trainers. From the age of eleven he performed in the Alex circus ring at Kharkov with parrots and crocodiles! Anastasiia was also born in the Ukraine and she is a josser, which means that her parents are not circus artists, her mum is a seamstress and her dad is a tram driver.
Anastasiia trained from the age of fifteen at Vostorg and also graduated from the Kharkov State Academy of Physical Culture with a bachelor’s degree.
When you ask the couple about their hobbies, they tell you how much they love each other, circus acrobatics, circus gymnastics, reading, meditation, yoga and travel. Andrii also enjoys football, drawing, skiing and climbing.
Anastasiia also enjoys dancing, fitness, swimming, going to the theatre and the study of Psychology. They have toured the Ukraine, Latvia, Oman, Finland, Estonia and Sweden. They are very excited to be touring the UK and we can’t wait for them to meet our audiences.
Luna Oxana Valkiv
Luna was born in 2001 in the city of Reims in France. She has grown up in the world of Circus because her parents are Serhiy the clown and Micaela Cardona. Luna is sixth generation Circus which means that for five generations before her birth, both sides of her family were Circus artists.
She grew up living with her grandparents (the famous Flying Cardonas) in Italy, whilst her parents toured the world. She would always join them during the summer holidays and it was at the age of twelve that she made her first appearance @ Happy’s Circus on duo aerial straps working with her father. In subsequent years she grew in confidence to appear in solo performances of aerial hoop, hula hoop, handstand and solo aerial straps.
From the age of thirteen Luna attended the Accademia d’Arte Circense in Verona, Italy where each morning she studied standard school curriculum and then trained each afternoon for three hours in Circus arts. She graduated in June 2019 with a diploma in aerial acts. She comes from a very industrious family and during the same period of time she studied at the fashion college “Le Grand Chic” and also graduated as a clothing technician in 2019.
Luna makes her own costumes and is sought out by other artists for her innovative designs to also make costumes for them. Well done Luna and welcome back to Happy’s Circus for your first season as a full-time professional artist!