Fes­tive re­turn home is a real bal­anc­ing act

Carmarthen Journal - - Front Page - SAN­DRA HEMBREY 01792 545535 san­[email protected]­di­awales.co.uk

A VIDEO has been pub­lished show­ing a man perch­ing pre­car­i­ously on a chair on top of an­other one with a deadly drop below.

El­lis Grover, who hails from Car­marthen, posted the 55-se­cond video on Christ­mas Day.

In a stom­ach-churn­ing sight, Mr Grover can be seen plac­ing a chair on the very edge of the Lyric Build­ings in King Street in the town cen­tre.

He then bal­ances the se­cond chair on top of that – just on two legs – and then sits on the chair, us­ing only his legs to bal­ance him­self, with part of his body dan­gling sev­eral feet in the air. Below is a ter­ri­fy­ingly long drop which would most likely prove fa­tal should El­lis fall.

The dare­devil is seen deep in con­cen­tra­tion, with one chair leg very close to the edge of the chair un­der­neath.

He said after the stunt, which was filmed a short while be­fore it was posted: “It’s as dan­ger­ous as it looks, but it’s ac­tu­ally quite a safe trick.

“It’s quite im­pos­si­ble to fall, as op­posed to a high wire walker, as I have my hand touch­ing the other chair when I need it.”

El­lis posted the video on Face­book, with the words: “Ori­gin. The place in which we are from, where it all be­gan, a place that will for­ever be set in the stonework of our mem­ory. Where we all come back to for Christ­mas! Here’s a lit­tle some­thing for you all to check out on this fine day. A slightly un­ortho­dox video of my very own re­turn to my home­town, Car­marthen. “

Fans took to the site ex­press­ing their amaze- ment, with nearly 400 views on YouTube by the start of the year. Char­lie Pothe­cary said: “Love the ae­rial views of the town! You crazy though!” Joan Fer­ri­day said: “Rather you than me...!” and for Mar­ion How­ells it was “too scary!!!!!” Chris Thur­ley dubbed the stunt “amaz­ing, bizarre, and pos­si­bly in­sane!”

But the stunt is not the first feat per­formed by the Welsh­man in his own coun­try. In 2017 he wire­walked across Pe­narth beach to the end of the pier with­out a safety har­ness. And the year ear­lier he tightrope-walked a 150- me­tre-wide stretch of Snow­do­nia called Lost Worlds at 150m in height. It’s be­lieved to have been the high­est high-wire stunt per­formed in Wales.

But Car­marthen re­mains close to 25-year-old El­lis’s heart. He started his chair trick while at school there, and says he knows the town in­cred­i­bly well from do­ing park­our and free run­ning in his teens.

He said: “Car­marthen is my foun­da­tion – a town I owe a lot to. I had a unique up­bring­ing, and it was the very ar­chi­tec­ture of the town that de­vel­oped my ca­reer.”

Now liv­ing on a house­boat near Uxbridge, El­lis wouldn’t rec­om­mend any­one else has a go at the stunt. He said: “I wouldn’t rec­om­mend any­one do­ing what I did, but I would rec­om­mend the study of bal­ance and push­ing things and see­ing things dif­fer­ently. But to achieve a trick quite as dan­ger­ous as that, I wouldn’t rec­om­mend that.”

El­lis now works around the world as a per­former, in­clud­ing stints in South Ko­rea, Aus­tralia and the Mid­dle East. But he prom­ises you won’t have seen the last of the chair trick...

Pic­ture: El­lis Grover

El­lis Grover perch­ing on a chair on top of a Car­marthen build­ing.

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