An elegant sufficiency

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A different kind of circus

After the circus that took place at home yesterday afternoon, we got ourselves together and headed off with good friends Lyn and Chris to Minchinhampton Common, for we had tickets for Giffords Circus. We have heard only good things about this show but since we're usually on holiday during August, we've not managed to get ourselves to see for ourselves till now.

Lyn and Chris supplied the pre-show Pimms and the rain held off long enough for us to sit on the common and pretend it was a warm Summer's evening. We admired their nifty Pimms kit!

When we were on holiday recently, we saw the Barnum and Bailey Circus train passing through...hmmmm...New Mexico somewhere?

I joked and said how disappointed I was that there was no giraffe's head popping up above the carriages, nor could I see an elephant looking out like in a Richard Scarry book! But really, to see a circus train at all was a first for me and I was rather surprised to find that there are such things.

We were delighted to see these grand wagons parked up on the common, which, even though they didn't look quite like the story book either, did have an old world elegance about them and a genuine feel of the circus.

We took our seats in the Big Top - smaller than I'd imagined, even though Lyn had told me it was an intimate affair - and enjoyed the pre-show with some fun with Tweedy the clown who was simply fantastic. Totally daft, very very clever - with none of that vaguely sinister feeling a more traditional clown usually provokes. We loved him.

Whilst he spent fifteen minutes being silly, the musicians and a few others were playing cards in the ring - with a rabbit or two here and there.

Their costumes were beautiful - traditional and elegant rather than wacky.

No photographs during the show, understandably, so you will have to imagine the delightful and incredibly skilful performances we enjoyed. (There is a great slide show, with music here) We saw tightrope walking, acrobatics, a kind of trapeze act, a series of beautiful horses parading in the ring - one dancing, circus-horse-style, another large heavy horse walking gently around followed by a duck! All accompanied by the most gloriously mad music played by a band from Hungary (I think). The energy, spirit and total commitment of everyone defies description - we loved every minute! These are such skilled people and they perfom with such incredible style and good humour.

After the show, we enjoyed a delicious meal cooked in one of the circus wagons by Sauce, all served on Bridgewater china - the spotty and starry plates being so appropriate to the circus. On the table in the centre of the dining tent was a single word - EFFORTLESS.

I don't think so.

If you haven't seen Giffords Circus and you have the chance, don't wait any longer! I can't wait to see them again. Another review here if you need further persuasion.

Labels: , ,


  • What a lovely time you had. It's a pity they aren't coming anywhere near me.

    But you gave me another childhood memory - Richard Scarry. It's a family legend that I learnt to read using the Green Shield Stamps catalogue and "What do People Do All Day?".

    By Blogger MandellaUK, at 11:00 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home