On Monday night we were all very excited to finally see the Gifford's Circus show, we've been meaning to go for the last couple of years, but with the girls now being 7 & 5, it seemed a perfect time, old enough to sit still (sort of!) and not too old to be disapproving of anything that isn't 'digital'.
Every year the show has a different theme and 2011's was to be 'War and Peace', I will admit to being a bit sceptical about this, a bit too depressing and high-brow?
Well I needn't have worried, the story telling was succint and flowed nicely, interspersed cleverly with the wondrous talents of the performers.
Upon arriving at the show ground, Barrington in our case, you're greeted with the charming old fashioned site of lots of beuatifully maintained trucks and trailers, like something out of an Enid Blyton book. The organ was playing, the big top rose out of the field like it had stood there all year and there was a lovely community feeling, I wondered if it was more like a travelling family than just a group of touring performers.
Inside the tent, it was surprisingly light and beautifully arranged, being claustrophobic I was a little apprehensive that it would be dark and that I'd feel crammed in.
The performers were all so talented, everyone seemed to almost double up, as actors and fabulous musicians, the size of the band was just wonderful, lots of saxophones, trumpets, violins, drums etc.
And all the costumes?! Well they were my favourite, all perfect detail, from choice of fabric to style and all seemingly suited for quick changes!
Lots of horses, which pleased my eldest, each scene change happened seamlessly and Tweedy the clown helped gel everything together in a light and child friendly way, I would like to reassure you that he is not one of those tacky colourful cliche's but rather an endearing entertainer and both my girls thought he was thoroughly silly and very funny!
This fabulous acrobat was here alluding to be a comet, referenced I presume in the book (apologies, I haven't read the book or even know the story, I shall have to rectify that) and her performance was breathtaking, seeing it up close you could really appreciate the skill and physical prowess needed.
Yes, she did jump through the ring of fire!
Here is Napolean, who did a nifty bit of knife throwing too.
The fire jugglers were just astounding, I didn't want to watch at times as it was quite tense! Seeing this sort of performance live just can't be matched on television.
I'm so glad we went, the girls really enjoyed it and have talked about their favourite bits all the next day, I really would recommend it to all ages. It only tours locally around Gloucestershire and the South West usually but it's well worth tracking them down, I think we need more of this sort of entertainment on offer, especially for kids to be able to enjoy and realise that entertainment doesn't have to mean switching on the TV. Their website has more info and great images.