Dear Mummy, even though I’m only 4 I’ve seen my fair share of circus acts however I was totally awe-struck by our recent visit to Zippo’s Circus. It’s the number one circus in London and we caught the troupe as they toured around the South of England. While visiting Guildford the circus came to town for a whistle-stop tour before heading around the UK to bring joy to many other families.
I love everything about the circus, being the first to spot the big top through the trees, queuing up at the box office to grab our tickets with butterflies flapping in my tummy. Daylight turning into darkness as we enter the massive bell-shaped tents. There is something so magical about waking into the big top, the lights, the buzz of excitement, the smell of popcorn and candy floss. Excitement was at fever pitch for this packed performance.
We handed our tickets to the smartly dressed porters and were shown to our ringside seats. These comfy red velvet chairs gave us the best seats in the house, right up close to the action. So close in fact that my daddy was commandeered by the very funny clown, Emilion Delbosq (thankfully not one of the traditional scary clowns) as the spotlight landed on him for a circus trick. The audience participation was the right amount of cheese, very funny and clever. Not too much slapstick which kept the adults as well as the children rolling in the stalls with laughter.
This was a circus which had performers from all parts of the world. There was no weak links and every act was spectacular. It was like watching a Royal Variety performance or Britain’s Got Talent final, I even whispered to daddy that it was better than watching telly. My mummy likened it to 3D telly, with the smells, the sound and the lights simulating every sense in your body.
The best part for her was watching the Khadikov Troupe and the ‘Jigit’ Cossack horses from Kazakstan. To be that close to the action and feel the horses thundering hooves vibrating through the floor into the stands was amazing! She’s never been that near to catering horses running around a circus ring before. Such disciplined equestrian skills, death-defying tricks and super tricky for horses in such a small space it was amazing.
However, for my mummy the main star of the show was the ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE, who commanded attention from the audience and kept the face paced momentum of the action flowing. He lives and breathes the circus and has been performing for over 65 years! His first job as a ringmaster was back in 1956 so he knows how to hold a crowd. We loved watching his famous budgie act and even when the spotlight was off him he still shone!
We loved the traditional Argentinian Cowboys called Gauchos who twirled their Bolas (cords with weights on the end) to create a mesmerizing show with drums and fire. Afterwards we were on the edge of our seats watching a Czech husband and wife team, Toni and Nikol Novotny throwing knives and playing with fire! The crowd was gasping in awe at Hussein Juma and his contortion act as he writhed around on stage bending his body in unnatural poses. He was one of the bendiest people we have ever seen, I even tried to copy him much to my mummy horror! *don’t try this at home kids*
High above the ring aerial performers swung over our heads with no safety nets, pulled themselves up with shear strength and toppled down ropes with pure choreographed precision. We couldn’t believe our eyes as we watched Kimberley Souren dangle off her trapeze by her ankles, a highly dangerous trick. We were impressed with the American juggler Nicolas Souren as he juggled and danced with eight rings.
Unusual acts like foot juggling by Germaine Delbosq with fire on a motorbike were theatrical and mesmerizing and had me staring mouth wide open. We could even feel the heat of the fire on our faces.
My daddy loved the loud and noisy motorbikes from the famous Lucius Troupe as they raced around inside a giant metal globe called the ‘Globe of Death’. It was very noisy and very dangerous which added to the spectators thrill! At one point five motorcycles where whirling around inside the metal globe…then it opened! We were all in shock to see all the bikes spinning around in a blurry circle like a gravity wheel exposed to the crowds below. Check out our video to see the act – seeing is believing!
For those of you thinking about going to the circus, we’d highly recommend Zippo’s Circus. We’re great fans of the circus in general and didn’t think our expectations could be exceeded from the last performance we’d seen, however this show was absolutely awesome. What’s nice is that the majority of the performers are related so it’s a real family affair. Every year Zippo’s Circus comes back on tour with fresh new acts and death-defying performances and we can’t wait to see whats in store for 2018.
We’ve crammed some of the show into 2 mins for you to enjoy!
Meanwhile Zippo’s circle is still touring until the end of the year, so if you are near a big top tour we’d suggest a trip to the circus. Tickets range from £12 to £7.50 and children under 2 go free if they don’t occupy a seat. 15 years and over pay adult prices. It’s not just for families either and would make a great date night activity!
Love Bella x
Disclaimer: We were invited to see the circus in order to conduct a review. All on site purchases were our own along with footage and images.
27 thoughts on “The best show in the UK – Zippo’s Circus Review”
Oh cool! I haven’t been to a circus in years and would love to take my kids! Will check out the tour dates, hopefully catch it before the end of the year. Thanks for the heads up! #DreamTeam
Sorry to be a party pooper but I’m not too sure how I feel about the use of horses at the circus? I didn’t think they still used animals in acts like this? The bikes certainly look impressive though. Looks like you had a fab time.
We were concerned at first too, however they are well cared for and numerous inspections have been carried out to ensure their welfare. Circuses have come on leaps and bounds. There’s a recent inspection report on their website http://zippos.co.uk/about-us/animal-welfare and a handler interview on YouTube for further information. We loved the horses in this show and it was lovely seeing a traditional Jigit display that I wouldn’t have ordinarily seen in this country 🙂 It certainly was impressive!
How can anyone be scared of clowns,well,other then our current “President”?
They were always a huge highlight when we would go to the Big Top.
I remember going to the circus with my Dad when I was little, the Big Top was always so exciting. I don’t remember any of the acts, just the sawdust on the floor and eating popcorn!
You are so lucky to see circus in person. I remember I am already in my teenage years when I was able to watch circus. It always gives me chill and excitement when watching. Scared as well thinking that something might happen bad with the performers.
This circus looks like a lot of fun. Very exhilarating and an exciting experience x
Oh wow, it looks amazing! We just get rubbish little circuses by us – this looks so cool! H x
It looks like it was a great performance! I reminds me of the times when I was maybe 4 years old and my grandparents would take me to the circus. I used to love it!
ZIppos circus are amazing, we really enjoyed watching a show of there’s a couple of years back… reminds me we need to do it again!
Wow there’s so much to see. I’ve never actually been to a circus so I can only go off what I’ve seen off tv shows. Glad you had a great time
I’ve never been to a circus and I think I have quite an old fashioned idea of what goes on in them but reading your description really does sound like an episode of Britain’s Got Talent which is right up our street. It seems so well priced too! Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x
I’ve always heard good things about Zippos and would love to visit one day! Looks like fun
Zillow sounds absolutely delightful!! I’ve always wanted to go but for some reason or other we haven’t!! I love that it was so consistent with the level of talent and as you said there were no weak links!! I once went to a horse show in a circus tend that was amazing, especially being so close to the action! What a delight that the ringmaster has been in the game since the 50s!! How special!!
Oh man, I haven’t been to a circus since I was kid! But this sounds like a really good one, unlike the low quality one that comes to our city…
I’ve not been to the circus for years but it is so much fun. The bike looks cool….I’d be terrified though! It’s such a small space t be riding a motorbike around!
Wow. Looks like such a diverse show with lots to keep you interested. I’m surprised how cheap it is as well. I know it adds up when a whole family goes but I would have expected it to be more.
Oh the Zippo circus was local to us not long ago but we didn’t manage to get tickets, I’m gutted about that now seeing how fab it was! We love the circus and this is such a great price too!
I just love that last photo, she looks shy and thrilled all at once! Sounds like a great touring circus and one to look out for #TwinklyTuesday
Looks like you had a great time. We loved Zippos! #TriedTested
Wow now that is what I call a truly creative and innovative experience. I love the sound of the fire foot juggling that looks incredible x
Oh this looks fab. Zach loves the circus! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
This looks cool! I reckon Cygnet, who has just turned 3, would love it. Pen x #TwinklyTuesday
This looks like an amazing day out! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested