Picture from Giffords Circus website
Gloucestershire, Uk Echo
Saturday, May 19, 2012
THERE'S something magical about Giffords Circus. Something that gladdens the heart and makes you happy to live in Gloucestershire.
Other places have circuses, of course, but not like this. This is circus chic, stylish and modern yet harking back to a simpler age when the village green was the heart of every community and children could roam free.
Even before you get into the big top, there's a real sense of being part of something special.
The old-fashioned caravans, travelling restaurant serving tea and cake before the performance and the ladies with feathers in their hair selling programmes all add to the atmosphere.
As the audience filtered in to take their seats, Tweedy the Clown was already providing the entertainment, helped along by Victorian policeman David Hibling.
The Saturday Book was an annual miscellany published between the 1940s and 1970s with a focus on all things Victorian. The show captured its essence perfectly, from the cheeky musicians' costumes of bloomers, stockings and corsets to the wonderfully elaborate language of the band leader and announcer James Keay.
Giffords stalwarts Bibi and Bichu opened the show with their amazing juggling act, complemented by the accompanying music, brilliantly sung by Claire Barbier and Nancy Trotter.
The musical score was a highlight of the entire show, perfectly crafted by composer and musical director Sarah LLewellyn to suit each individual act. From Francois Marietta on the tightrope to Nancy Trotter's fascinating dove act, the show had something for everyone and kept the audience, young and old, enthralled.
Ukrainian acrobats The Godfathers, with their amazing show of strength, agility and sheer swagger were crowd favourites, but the show belonged to Tweedy the Clown, a true talent and a real asset to the troupe.
Whatever the weather gives us this summer, we can be sure Giffords will brighten our days. Go and see this show.