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.