3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

REVIEW: Giffords Circus: My Beautiful Circus – touring until September 30, 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:34 08 May 2018

Nancy Trotter Landry and her talking turkey

Nancy Trotter Landry and her talking turkey

Candia McKormack

To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the birth of circus, the Cotswolds’ own Giffords is back with a new tent, freshly-painted wagons, glamorous outfits and talented extended family to throw a summer-long party you’ll never forget, says Candia McKormack

Giffords' newly-painted wagonsGiffords' newly-painted wagons

You know how when the sun shines after a long winter and everyone’s transformed? It’s like a universal light being switched on inside each of us; you catch a stranger’s eye on the street and there’s a smile of recognition… they’re feeling it too, and things are looking decidedly brighter. Yes, it’s transformative, and I’ve realised tonight it’s almost exactly the same effect Giffords Circus has on us. Walking away from the big top as the sun sets on the Cotswolds, listening to the buzz of happy voices and seeing the smiles on faces, the world’s a better place at this moment.

I’ve been going along to Giffords shows since its inception, and each year it feels more and more like being part of a big, crazy, beautiful extended family. Long-lost cousins and eccentric uncles appear every now and again as if from nowhere, bringing with them exotic accents and near-supernatural party tricks, and instantly they’re embraced into the fold. Faces come and faces go, but the family is as close-knit as ever. And on this, the 250th Anniversary of the birth of circus, it’s never felt stronger.

At the heart of this family is the breathtaking Nell Gifford – she of fierce spirit and heart of gold – and her troupe of trusted magic-makers, including director Cal McCrystal, composer and musical director James Keay, horse trainer Dany Cesar, and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. And this year I’m particularly pleased to see the return of the brilliant Nancy Trotter Landry… and – YES! – her incredible talking turkey.

New faces to join us are Cuban Lisandra Austin on the silks – how I love those heart-in-the-mouth drops! – and the daredevil Cretu Troupe with their stunning springboard skills. Curatola Brothers bring a brilliant blend of comedy and hand acrobatics, while embracing the 1930s aesthetics with their suave good looks; and Diana and the Dancing Dachshunds has the packed tent aah-ing at their antics as they snake their way round the ring, nose-to-tail, and perform their synchronised routines… with a couple of rebellious numbers (which makes them all the more adorable).

Dany Reyes impresses with his juggling and cigar-box skills, before being upstaged by Tweedy (just when you think you know of all his skills, it appears he still has a few watts tucked away under that bushel of his); and things get decidedly bonkers on more than one occasion when his ‘lightweight towing caravan’ is wheeled into the ring, spewing out jugglers, acrobats… and a life-size ‘bear’. This is Giffords, after all.

The whole show is, as always, edge-of-the-seat stuff – prepare to give yourself up to laughter, sharp intakes of breath and knuckle-chewing – but one of the most astonishing things of this year’s offering is the incredible Dias Family. After being treated to a near-impossible ladder act by the two sisters, their brothers follow up with one of the most fantastic acts I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing… I can’t put into words what they’re capable of; you’re just going to have to see for yourself. It may sound like a cop-out, but trust me on this.

As with last year’s show, at the end we’re all treated to a brilliant summing up of what’s gone before, but this time it’s Tweedy and Nancy who perform their own renditions of the daring deeds. Expect a few surprises… nothing will prepare you for it, and my lips are sealed!

I wish I could give credit to each and every member of this wildly creative family individually, but their numbers are growing (pick up a programme at one of the shows and you’ll see just how) and, besides, they’re a combined force that needs every part equally to create the magic they do. And the audience is a big part of that… so please do make sure you go along to experience Giffords this summer and help weave your own magic into the show. The smile you share as you leave will keep us all going until September and beyond.

My Beautiful Circus is touring until September 30, 2018. Visit www.giffordscircus.com for full details.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 16:35

Ideal to celebrate with colleagues, friends or family during the festive season.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:04

If you’re a local looking to try somewhere new or you’re visiting the regency town on holiday, Cheltenham has some of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. We’ve picked 25 restaurants for you to try...

Read more
Thu, 15:24

Celebrate Christmas in the Cotswolds.

Escape and relax in between or join us for a glamorous New Year celebration.

Read more
Thu, 15:10

Discover the kaleidoscope of autumn colours in the Cotswold countryside.

Read more
Wed, 10:38

Once the preserve of high society, an afternoon tea is now widely available in cafes, tearooms and restaurants across the UK. This is no less true in the Cotswolds. We pick 19 of the best places to enjoy this indulgent treat in the region

Read more
Tue, 11:43

The weekend has finally arrived and what better way to celebrate time off then with a bottle of fizz? We pick 10 Cheltenham spots perfect for a few glasses (or bottles) of bubbly

Read more
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

From a humble cheese business to one of the best-known fine foods brands, Worcestershire-based Harvey & Brockless is going places, as Tanya Gledhill discovers

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Artisan bread is alive and well in the Cotswolds thanks to some extremely talented, forward-thinking bakers

Read more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Proudly boasting a host of talented chefs, local producers and brewers, the Cotswolds is a firm fixture on the nation’s foodie map. Don those stretchy trousers - we pick the food and drink you need to try in the region

Read more
Monday, July 30, 2018

Here’s a recipe that will satisfy even the most hard to please chocoholics

Read more
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Join Whatley Manor this summer for a delicious 3 course feast at Grey’s Brasserie.

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The brand-new Frogmill in Shipton, near Andoversford, will welcome guests when it opens on Friday July 13 following an extensive transformation at the hands of new owners Brakspear

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Discover the pleasure of a summer escape in the Cotswold countryside.

Read more
Friday, July 6, 2018

If you’re a local looking to try somewhere new or you’re visiting the regency town on holiday, Cheltenham has some of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. We have picked 20 restaurants

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder


Property Search