Giffords Circus ★★★★ Chiswick House & Gardens | June 2 - 19, 2023

Kids of all ages, it's summer and it's time to go the circus! No matter how old you are Giffords Circus will manage to amuse and thrill with a show that is very up-to-date, but still has a charming nostalgia. This year's offering is called "Les Enfants du Paradis" and a French gloss is put on the spectacle. Michael Fletcher as Hugo Victor and Nell O'Hara as Clair de Lune present the storyline of an old theatre coming to life with wonderful acts. This theme sets an atmosphere and provides a frame for the show, but it's really all about the standard silly clown acts and some extraordinarily daring acrobatics and aerial work. The show kicks off with the breathtakingly beautiful performance by Aerial Luna, and is followed by the stunning acrobatics of the Ethio-Salem Troupe. We had our hearts in our throats watching the feats of The Skating Medinis and the awesome high wire act of Alex Michael. Romy Meggiolaro's juggling was a delight and Amanda Sandow's trained ponies were completely charming. Plus, how clever were Sergi Buka's shadow creations! Antoine César's aerial strap work was definitely a highlight of the show, and we could see why he was Clair de Lune's love interest! All of this drama was leavened by the comic antics of perennial crowd favourite, Tweedy the Clown, who has been with the show for over sixteen years. Indeed, at the conclusion of the performance when the audience is invited to join in the fun, the moment is positively euphoric. We can't think of a better way to spend a summer evening with the family than with a visit to the big tent!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Rachel Louise Brown.

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