Archive for September 2010

Giffords Circus

September 5, 2010


Just been to see Giffords Circus (in a field outside Cirencester) — as part of Diana’s dad’s belated Father’s Day present!  (Thank you, Ellis.)  Also turned out to be Diana’s ex-husband’s birthday (Pete got a cheer and a rousing chorus) so in all we were a family party of 12 — in a very small Big Top!

Giffords was founded ten years ago by Toti and Nell Gifford who had worked with Yasmine Smart — granddaughter of the famous Billy Smart — and realised that the UK  lacked the kind of traditional circus performances that are still spectacularly successful on the continent.  So they decided — from their base on a Gloucestershire Farm — to set up their own traditional but miniature circus, touring Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxordshire with their amazing show.  Every season’s show is on a diferent theme:  this year was ‘Yasmine — the Musical’, telling the story of Yasmine Smart’s life (and love affair with horses) in the style of a vaguely 1940s musical show.

We arrived amid a bustle of adults and children, with a genuine fairground organ (mounted on a genuine old Ford truck) churning out popular tunes;  a fleet of gleaming and impeccably maintained vehicles, all finished in ‘Pullman’ cream and maroon, surrounded an impossibly dinky ‘Big’ Top into which several hundred of us squeezed.  Before the show started, at 2.30, we were treated to various warm-up routines including an extraordinary audience-participation clapping routine led and choreographed entirely without words by the amazing mime artist Olivier Taquin.

There was a (more…)