ESCAPOLOGIST Dan Dare stunned the crowds inside the big top at Happy's Circus, in Sutton Benger, near Chippenham, when he shook off his handcuffs and chains to escape from his exploding prison.

Not to be outdone a Lara Croft look-alike swooped into the arena and risked life and limb to entertain the 400 spectators.

She was put in a box and sliced and diced with 3ft knives but, to the relief of everyone, she made a remarkable recovery and was all in one piece to take her bow.

The Friends Of Sutton Benger School booked the circus on Sunday as part of its annual summer fun day.

The three-and-a-half hour show, had a wide variety of acts ranging from slapstick comedy with clowns to an acrobat who spun six plates on long sticks while balancing on a ball.

FOSBS chairman Dawn Beresford said: "The crowd thought it was fantastic.

"It was such a brilliant show and people kept asking 'when are they coming back?'

"But it wasn't just children from the school who attended, it was people from the whole village.

"We have 140 pupils enrolled at the school, so a lot of people from the local community got involved."

Smaller stalls surrounded the red and yellow striped big top, where people could try their hand at hook a frog, splat a rat and hoopla.

The raffle prize was a helicopter flight donated by a parent who is a pilot. The parents' association raised £1,700 from the event, which will go to the school funds.