SPECIAL effects make-up students from Bradford will show off their skills at a celebration of circuses at the Natural History Museum today.

Six students from the Northern School of Creative Industries at Bradford College will be in the capital showcasing their expertise in prosthetics, make-up, wig and costume design.

They will create fantastical circus characters including lion ringmasters, imaginary beasts, feathered hoola hoop artistes and fairy popcorn sellers for the event that will be attended by politicians, arts and cultural leaders, artists and leading lights from across the creative sector to mark 250 years of the British circus.

The students were invited to take part in the high-profile event after undertaking a project on circuses last term and helping launch a circus exhibition at Bradford’s Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.

The exhibition, Cupola, which opened in November and runs until April, celebrates the work of local aerial circus company Skinning the Cat, whose artistic director and aerialist was Becky Truman, who is now a tutor on the highly-regarded Media Make-up and Special Effects course at Bradford College.

Mrs Truman, who will be accompanying her students to the capital for the launch, said: “This is a great opportunity for the students to showcase their skills, work on a professional project and make contacts with people from across the creative sector.

“It is also great recognition for the college and our reputation in developing graduates that are well placed to begin a career in make-up, special effects and prosthetics for film, television, theatre and photographical settings.”

Among the guests expected at the launch, which is being organised by the Creative Industries Federation, are Deputy Leader of the Labour party Tom Watson, Ben McOwen Wilson, Director of Youtube, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the chairwoman of the UK’s largest media agency, Media.com, Karen Blackett.

The Circus250 celebrations will also see the event’s logo be projected onto a number of prominent buildings across the country including Blackpool Tower and Norwich Castle.