WITH breathtaking high flying trapeze acts, clowning around with Angelo and daring acrobats, Billy Smart's Circus is a must see show.
The big tent is up on Paignton's Green until September 1 and it's cast of 25 performers are wowing both visitors and locals alike.
The famous circus toured Britain throughout the 1950s and 1960s and due to its quality became well known across the country.
Smart's stopped touring in 1971 and is now being revived, creating a modern show for 21st century audiences.
One of the highlights is the springboard acrobats, The Cretzu Troupe.
Using a specially constructed seesaw to propel one another high through the air they perform jaw dropping stunts.
Radames Cretzu, 29, from Romania, is carrying on a family tradition by being in the troupe.
"Our signature is the human pyramid," he said.
"It takes so much time to rehearse and to make it work. We spend time after the second show of every day making sure we get it perfected."
The timing of their act could spell disaster.
"We do get injured but not often. I'll keep going in the show for as long as my body allows me. Once that time comes I'll find another role to play in the circus."
He enjoys life on the road.
"Last year I got to go to Inverness and go to castles and Loch Ness. I also love London and going to places like Buckingham Palace."
Desiree Chaves is also a headliner in the show. She's been born into the circus as her father Angelo is also involved and is now the main clown.
He taught her a spellbinding hand balancing routine, which requires great control and muscle strength.
The routine must have been in her blood as the 19-year-old is a natural.
"It's good I've had my dad to help me and give me tips," said Desiree, who hails from Portugal.
"I hope to continue doing this for the next 20 years."
Angelo is the face of the show and has travelled the world as part of the circus.
"I've been to all sorts of places as far afield as Kuwait," he said.
Having taught his daughter the act of hand balancing, he now watches in awe.
"I'm very proud of her," he said.
Having retired from hand balancing, he's now having fun as the circus clown.
"It's a lot more relaxed and more fun," said Angelo, who takes 30 minutes to do his make-up each day for the performance.
Australian born Craig Litherland, 31, is part of the Flying Aces trapeze act.
He gave up being an accountant to go on the road with a circus six years ago and has never looked back.
"I started out by going to a circus school in Australia and after that I think it was about being in the right place at the right time, as I've been working ever since.
"I love the opportunity it brings. I realise it might not be everyone's strong desire but I enjoy it."
The Flying Aces are the first Australian flying trapeze act to perform in Europe.
They'll swing and jump to bars while almost 10ft in the air.
"The hardest thing I have to do is called the long jump, where I'm propelled 10 metres in the air and have to catch the trapeze," he said.
Despite performing death defying moves, he doesn't get nervous while doing his routine.
"The only time I have any fear is when I'm trying out a new stunt and you know how dangerous it could be."
He's enjoying his first tour with Billy Smart's and likes Paignton.
"Its a high class circus show with a hugely talented cast," he said. "Paignton is great, I love the pier and boardwalk and we're set up close to town."
Eddy Carvello will also entertain with his juggling act with an original twist.
The Swiss born performer was taught the classic art of juggling by his father and went on to win the silver medal at the International Circus Festival in Paris.
The energetic entertainer has gone on to develop his own act accompanied to music.
"I've been juggling since I was really young," he said.
"I wanted to give it my own style, so I specialise in using a combination of items to juggle with and love making it more visual. I use a guitar, drums and much more."
He also complimented Torbay.
"I feel like I'm a tourist on holiday," he said.