THIS is my first show of 2018 and what a great way to get the year started.

Two hundred and fifty years after Philip Astley, the father of modern circus, produced his first show, Poole Lighthouse was packed with a crowd eagerly awaiting the arrival of Doc Haze and his crew of misfit adventurers.

I have seen the Circus a number of times over the last five years and during that period it has undergone small changes with the odd tweak here and there, but this year we were promised some significant changes incorporated into a new show called Voodoo.

The first noticeable change was the demise of Relik the Clown who has been replaced by the devil himself. Also missing was Captain Dan and his trusty companion Henry the Hoover, but new addition the excellent Mongolian Laughing Boy more than made up for it.

New acts also included husband and wife team The Ravishing Raspuns with their knife throwing and strongman act, which went down a storm.

There were also plenty of familiar faces making a welcome return.

Sword swallower Hannibal Hellmurlo, the Sinister Sisters aerial act, The Voodoo Acrobats and the wonderful Anastasia IV all displayed an assortment of different skills that made for a night of full-on non-stop entertainment driven along by live band The Deadly Sins.

Although it's called Circus of Horrors, don’t be put off if you are a bit squeamish because most of the acts are good old fashioned acrobats, fire eaters, strongmen and knife throwers in the proper circus tradition (although you may look away during Laughing Boys piercings).

Doc Haze must be congratulated for playing a major part in keeping this show on the road and supplying an outlet for these age-old skills.

What a shame it would be if they were not nurtured and given the chance to entertain people all over the world.

Well done guys and I will see you again at the Pavilion in March.