Rudy Horn in Bertram Mills Circus


Sawdust and Spotlight

The two most famous jugglers and equilibrists of the present day are probably the German Rudy Horn, who toured for three seasons with Bertram Mills, and the young Italian Nino Rubio, who appeared at Harringay in 1956. The former, who performs on a unicycle, is described by Cyril Mills as being "Perhaps the greatest feat of virtuosity I ever booked".

Some years ago he was watching a small show that had been put on for the American occupation troops in Germany and he saw Rudy Horn, solemnly tossing six cups and six saucers from one foot on to his head, finishing up with a teaspoon on the top saucer and a lump of sugar in the top cup. He congratulated him. and received the reply: "This is nothing, Mr. Mills. Within one year I shall be doing it different - on a unicycle."

"Well, when you can do that, Rudy - and I beg leave to doubt it - send me a telegram," replied the circus director.

Almost a year later to the day, the telegram arrived and Rudy was duly booked to appear at Olympia, where he was a tremendous success. His employer even found him practising in the ring at three o'clock one morning, drenched with perspiration, and declaiming jubilantly that he had succeeded in throwing and balancing nine cups. "Rudy, you're wonderful, but you're stark crazy. Stop it, or you'll start to bore the wretched audience!"