The Great Dave started performing at the tender age of 14 in London’s famous Covent Garden. Years of entertaining classmates but certainly not teachers came to a head and he finally ran away to join the circus. After quickly mastering juggling and unicycling, he teamed up with an old family friend to perform his first “official” show at the 1987 Covent Garden Clown Convention. It was there that his eyes where first opened to the world of Street Theatre and it was love at first sight. After a very successful first year, Dave decided that it would be prudent to expand his skills base and enrolled as the youngest ever student at what was then, Britain’s only Circus School – Fool Time, now Circamedia. Under the careful eye of tutors such as Bim Mason (Kaboodle and Mummer and Dada), Frankie Anderson and Guy Dartnel. he soon realised that there was much more to performing than just doing tricks. With a new spring in his step and a bewildering array of possibilities at his finger-tips, Dave started to put together what is now the world class indoor and outdoor show, The Great Dave
Having settled very comfortably into the Street Theatre community, Dave branched out into the world of acting. He performed for 5 years with the acclaimed Performance Theatre Company in shows such as The Three Musketeers, Three Men in a Boat and the box office record breaking hit The Odyssey. He has also appeared in countless television shows and adverts around the world and in 2003, acted alongside Sylvester McCoy, Stephen Fry and John Sessions in the new Doctor Who Radio play, Death Comes To Time. Dave has also taught at London’s The Circus Space, devised and directed with troupes and companies across the globe and acted for 9 years as The Covent Garden Street Performer’s representative, whilst all the time still touring with The Great Dave show.
In 2004, whilst touring Australia, inspired by the great Rudy Horn, Dave decided to start training a trick rarely seen outside of the Chinese State Circus. The seemingly impossible art of kicking cups and saucers and a spoon to a balance on his head whilst riding a 6 foot unicycle. He had been practising for several months when he fell 9 metres down a cliff in an unrelated accident and broke his back in two places. As he lay on his side in the dark waiting for help, Dave noticed that he had no movement from his waist downwards. This was a devastating realisation! After 2 of the longest days of his life, Dave regained a tiny bit of movement in his big toe, then a bit more in his foot and it was then that he promised himself that not only would he walk again but that he would – against the advice of his doctors – get back on the unicycle and finish the new trick he had started to learn..
Well that all sounds very romantic but the reality was a little different. After almost a year of physio, hydrotherapy, good old-fashioned grit and determination and a few manly tears, Dave got back on his unicycle and, almost 2 years to the day performed the cup and saucer kick, on a 6 foot unicycle at the Taste of Tasmania to huge acclaim and …a few manly tears!
Since then, Dave has stopped crying and toured the world performing this amazing feat. He also performs with his comedy partner in the hugely successful duo Married Men.
Dave is constantly training, adding more cups and saucers to the stack and devising more and more ridiculous situations for the Great Dave to get into and out of.