Gerry Cottle | 7 April 1945 – 13 January 2021
I met Gerry Cottle at one of my first gigs in 2003, he was kind and treated me like a seasoned pro. What I remember of Gerry was that he warm, sharp and deeply cared about circus. Having lived the cliché and run away with the circus when he was 15, Gerry went on to found his own companies, direct shows and reached the rare status of self-made circus proprietor.
Everybody’s favourite circus intellectual, John Ellingsworth did a nice write up on Gerry’s 2006 autobiography here. In summation; Gerry Cottle had done and seen it all and probably sold you the T-shirt.
And yet despite historic Yo-Yoing financial circumstances and a life time of Big Top touring Gerry seemed to still really care about circus. A few years ago when I listened to Gerry engage in debate at a circus networking event and he still had opinions and a genuine passion for his art-form which was impressive to witness and something that is somewhat lacking from some of the institutions which represent UK circus now.
Gerry Cottle was a true entrepreneur, circus obsessive and will be sorely missed.