Monday, 4 August 2014

I'm off to the circus!

Messy floors and sibling bickering getting you down this holidays? Find yourself threatening enforced summer camps, early bedtimes and worse? Don't worry, you're not the only one that gets desperate. But this summer you can actually run away to the circus with your kids - and all enjoy the thrills and spills of the Big Top!

In preparation for the the grandchildren visiting, mum had looked around for some days out near to her house in Folkestone. Billy Smart's Circus was in town and we were all keen to go along (despite the youngest child's distrust of clowns!). Tickets were easy to buy at the on-site box office as we passed by the venue on the way back from a day at the seaside. It was a little tortuous waiting for the 2pm admission time to come round - as the kids were eager to take their seats - but at least it made them eat up their lunch properly!

Once we had chosen where to sit (oldest wanted to get as close as possible, youngest didn't, on account of the clowns, although actually there was only one and he didn't do anything alarming!), we all drunk in the atmosphere. I was rather taken by the uniforms of the ringmaster (mistress?) and other door staff, while the prospect of glamorous leotards and candy floss beguiled the children.

Soon the show kicked off with a little history of Billy Smart (the first show was in 1946, the Big Top came in 1951) - and then we were off. Act after act received gasps and whoops as a trapeze artist swung, acrobats bounced and a juggler used her feet to twirl balls, cylinders and more. There was smoke, there was fire, there was clapping. Soon the interval kicked in and we rushed off to the candy floss machine, only to rush back to our seats as soon as possible. We didn't want to miss a thing!

The second half started with an amazing trapeze troupe - complete with daring somersaults and catches. There was also a stunning Argentinian Bolas act (twirly metal balls, whirling to the beat of drums, that eventually got set on fire too!). The highlight for me in this half was the X-treme Brothers, three incredibly strong guys who managed to balance on each other in various formations - they were fit and had abs that would put David Gandy to shame! I just couldn't believe the balance and core strength they had!

The girls loved the whole thing - the youngest won't even surrender the discount vouchers we got as we left because she wants to remember the show. Their favourite acts were  Caroline, the ballet-trained trapeze artist (who was the epitome of grace) - and Team Fonz, who performed a lively trampoline display based on the musical Happy Days.

Granny and me were both impressed by the X-treme Brothers (funny that...) and Grandad thought the trapeze troupe was the most impressive because of the meticulous timing required. I also liked Alina Eskina’s ‘cube’ routine, as it too was visually captivating.

I'd certainly recommend Billy Smart's show as holiday entertainment. It was a proper Big Top affair, and very inspiring for the children to see traditional circus skills so beautifully choreographed and performed. You can check if the circus is coming to your town here - and book discounted tickets online too. It will take your breath away!


  1. I enjoyed reading this post as it brought back memories of going to the circus as a kid. Our son was actually at a circus last year when he was about three months old. He slept through the first half of it but seemed to be intrigued by the second half of it!


    1. I'm not sure I ever went as a child - but probably because in those days (a very long time ago!!) they often still had animals in them. We've seen a few smaller ones in recent years - as the circus seemed to be on the early years curriculum and both of my girls learnt about them at school. This was by far the most professional and best though! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Do you know I have never been to the circus but this looks amazing. I must think about taking the kids as I am sure the boy would love it. Thanks so much for sharing with the Monday #pinitparty. Have pinned :)

    1. Thanks for pinning. Yep, I think I can say it was entertaining for my kids, me and my parents - so that's not bad (not all of us are easy to please, I'll not mention names though...!).