Mum’s a have a throw hero after she steps in for circus knife thrower’s act

A brave mum enjoyed all the fun of the dare when a circus knife thrower’s assistant fell ill.

Harley Gray, 28, was taking her kids to the Planet Circus OMG! show when she heard there was a staff shortage and offered to help.

She thought she would be selling tickets, but was soon in costume, up against a board, having knives hurled at her by Emil Faltyny.

Harley said: “The whole thing was very scary and I had my eyes closed for most of it.

“Then, every now and again, I would feel this rush of air fly past me followed by a bang, I am thankful that I wasn’t hit, but the performers are very talented.

“My kids had no idea how scared I was. They loved watching it.”

Seventh generation performer Emil admitted he has hit people before, but kept that to himself before Sunday’s act with Harley in Cleethorpes, Lincs.

He said: “On Sunday my wife Svatava was ill, and I normally throw the knives at her. While I have been training at this act since I was a little boy, there are times I do not hit the target.

“Recently, I actually cut the entire nail off my wife’s hand when I was throwing the knives in between her fingers. She didn’t talk to me for a few days after that.”

Harley said: “I have known the circus manager Jo McMullen for a number of years now, and when I arrived and heard they needed some help because someone was ill, I was happy to offer assistance.

“I thought that I would just be helping to sell tickets or food, I had no idea that I would be actually taking part in the show itself as someone threw knives at me.”

Jo said: “We are very grateful that Harley was able to step in. If she had not helped help us, we would have had this huge empty space in the middle of the show.”

Harley, who lives in Cleethorpes, said: “I have never done anything like this in my life, and, although it did scare me, I think that I would definitely do it again.”

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