GIFFORDS CIRCUS REVIEW: Xanadu - A New Dawn is Breaking ★★★★
Giffords Circus - Xanadu: A New Dawn is Breaking
Fennells Farm, Stroud
Friday 3rd - Monday 13th May 2019
This year’s visit to Giffords Circus also marks my first, having wanting to venture to the circus for many years now. Talk from friends and colleagues spoke of horses, acrobats, pizza, candy floss and sweet popcorn, so this year there was going to be no stopping from taking a peak, leaving my adult mind behind at the entrance of the tent, and entering a world of makebelieve and magic, and I can definitely say that all those years of waiting was worth it!
Fennels Farm in Stroud is the perfect setting for Giffords, being the first stop of this mammoth tour which will then return to the farm later this year in September. From the moment you drive down the country roads, the top of the tent can be seen peeking over the trees, and alas also peaking the excitement, though it’s the walk from the carpark through to the circus village that you soon fully immerse yourself into the world of Nell Gifford, the owner and visionaire of this particular circus.
Entering the tent and taking seat on the wooden benches may sound uncomfortable, but the triumph in the creative team behind the spectacle, and the amount of hard effort behind the scenes from the crew who transport the whole village around the UK is something to be celebrated, and this is all even before we get to the main event, which is two hours of non-stop entertainment and death-defying stunts, with an interval squashed between, just for those who wish to grab snacks and souvenirs, which took full advantage of with the poster, pin badges, and the Giffords Backstage magazine… plus some sweet popcorn, kindly shared with the little one in our party of four.
With so many acts to divulge within this performance, there is an act for everyone, whether it’s Lil Rice with her cry wheel act, which is stunning and compelling, or the death-defying and mesmerising Anna Rastsova, who performs an elegant and gut-wrenching swinging trapeze act right above our heads, or Tweedy the Clown, often the staple to Giffords Circus, and recent straight actor from The Everyman’s Waiting for Godot, earlier this year.
This time around, Tweedy is working at Giffords Sauce, the traditional restaurant accompanying the circus which you can buy extra for when purchasing, but this doesn’t stop him from having a lark on stage tossing pancakes, and juggling with fire whilst riding on a unicycle. Finally let’s not forget the animals who feature in the show, from doves to horses, who are enchanting and used for some of the most tense moments throughout, but saying anymore would taint the enjoyment you are sure to receive from this year’s outing.
Overall, one thing is for sure; a return visit to Giffords Circus to guaranteed for next year, and I certainly cannot wait. For now though, Xanadu: A New Dawn is Breaking, is a polished, vibrant, and exiting visit to the Circus as a first time participant, and as long as you leave your adult brain at the door and fully embrace the hilarity and silliness that leaves within the tent, you are sure to have the most wonderful experience!