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!
Regan grew up in a small coastal village in Cape Town, South Africa, a country where there are no Circus schools. Regan does not come from a traditional Circus family and his journey has been arduous, especially since they did not support his performing aspirations. He has evolved to become a multi-skilled artist who has been performing professionally since 2011. He started intensive classical ballet training with the South African Ballet Theatre at a young age, which was followed by a year of training every day on ice to become a professional figure skater
In 2013, he joined the McLaren circus, touring across the nine states of South Africa, learning a range of circus skills from artists from all over the world. His favourite, the Spanish web became his signature act. In 2015 Regan realised he still had limited upper body strength, so he joined the Mongolian Dream Catch Circus and worked hard to develop his contortion and hand balancing acts. He found Contortion to be a difficult, very painful and frustrating art form to learn, but he practiced every day (and still does) because he wanted to become the best contortionist and hand-balancer he could be
Regan has worked in many parts of the world including South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, France and the Middle East. He has appeared on Royale Mongolian Circus, Splash Water Circus Weber Brothers, Achille Zavatta Cirk and South Africa’s Got Talent to name just a few shows
Regan has always known his destiny and spends much of his life striving to be the best artist he can possibly be. He loves Circus. His other great love is the Ocean. He loves diving and spends so much time with marine animals, that he believes that he must be part merman! He is even more excited to be visiting the UK for the very first time
Duo Knotted in Art
Kelsey Donohoe and Artem Kondratiev are an international couple who have knotted together their countries, and their love for one another using the arts of aerial and dance to create inspiring and passionate acts in the air and on the ground
Kelsey Donohoe is from Colorado Springs in the USA and has been working professionally for seven years. She began training at the age of seven in ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance. She went on to graduate in Dance Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma. She has worked as a dancer in shows in New York City and as a showgirl in Donn Arden’s “Jubilee!” in Las Vegas, and Nevada. She has also worked on several cruise lines, including “Royal Caribbean International” and “Dream Cruise Line”
Kelsey’s parents, sister and brother live in the USA, they are a very supportive family who love to travel to where ever she performs and watch her latest challenge
Artem Kondratiev is from Zhytomyr in the Ukraine and has been working professionally for ﬁve years. He started his career as the lead dancer in the popular Ukrainian Neon Dance Show: “Light Balance.” The production took him onto “Star Cruises” and “Dream Cruise Line,” where he worked as a hip hop and contemporary jazz dancer. He also has performed several times on Ukrainian National Television
Artem’s parents and sister live in Ukraine. His sister has followed in his footsteps and is working as a dancer in Kiev, Ukraine
Meeting on “Dream Cruise Lines” in 2016, Artem and Kelsey travelled around Asia while falling in love. It was here, they began their training in aerial silk and straps with Australian and Russian acrobats onboard the cruise ship. In 2017 they decided to form a duo act and added ground adagio elements into their training. After leaving “Dream Cruise Lines” they continued their aerial and adagio training in Ukraine and the USA, adding aerial trapeze, as well as acro and hand to hand ground elements. They have worked in Santa’s Circus (USA), and showcases throughout Colorado, USA
When they are not performing, Artem and Kelsey love to travel. It has become a tradition to take adagio lift photos and videos wherever they go. Kelsey keeps a diary of all their travels and adventures. When they are not working they watch films and cook. Artem also plays video games
They are really excited to be travelling across the UK with Happy’s Circus performing their trapeze and adagio acts as Duo Knotted in Art