The Greatest Show Woman 90 Years of Glorious Fun at Perks Entertainment Centre this July


There’s only one reason that a film hasn’t been made about the life of Sal Tivy-Perks: no one would believe it, writes Becky Grice.

And yet it’s a story worthy of the silver screen featuring, as it does, star-crossed lovers, a fortune teller, silent movies, a young violinist, a baby elephant, Elizabeth Arden, a Hong Kong theme park, a nurse who ran away with the circus, Walt Disney, a sedated snake and – linking it all – the Perks family.

As Perks Entertainment Centre, Youghal, celebrates its 90th anniversary this July, we sat down with Sal Tivy-Perks to discuss a life very much less ordinary…

William Edward Russell Perks is a big name for a little boy growing up at the end of the 19th century – and his childhood nickname didn’t help either. On a visit to the zoo in Belfast while his mum Sarah Lottie (occasionally know as Madame Agatella – but more that in a minute) was pregnant with him, her sister, Queenie, spotted a baby elephant and, placing her hands on Sarah’s baby bump, declared ‘You’ll be my little Jumbo.’

Read more inside the latest issue of Midleton News.