Reviewed by Jenny Seymour
Every year during the summer holidays my boys get excited as we drive past and see the circus vans arriving. This year brought extra special excitement, as it is 250 years since circus acts began – what will Norman Barrett MBE have up his sleeve this year to join him and his performing budgies?
I would recommend you get your tickets early, as there can be queues at the ticket office near the time of the shows and doors to the Big Top open ½ hour before the show. There are often ticket offers and vouchers available in local shops and post offices, you simply take these vouchers to the ticket office for your discounted tickets.
We were lucky enough to have ringside seating this year, but in other years we have had seats further at the back and sides, which are unreserved, so it pays to get there as the doors open to get the best choice of seats.
What is great at Zippos Circus is that as you queue up to get in, you get to see the beautiful horses in their open-air stables. The toilets and facilities are clean, and I’d recommend you go before the show starts, as you won’t want to miss it and there are likely to be queues during the interval.
There are refreshments inside the Big Top and lots of light up wands and souvenirs to buy. In the past, we have also had the opportunity to buy spinning plates, which would be a nice touch.
What I love about the circus is that you feel as though they are a whole team – the daredevil acrobat is then selling popcorn or acting as security and seating or front of house. The cast are happy to take photographs with audience members at the end and encourage videos and photos on social media to share the excitement and heart stopping moments.
The show starts with this year’s resident clown, Totti – and from then on you welcome him with the refrain – “What time is it?” – “Totti time!” He is a bit different than other clowns you may have seen – whilst there are some great slapstick moments (the act with the microphone for example and buckets of water being thrown around with his wife and fellow clown), there were also some great musical moments. My son’s highlight of the whole show, with all the spectacular, jaw-dropping acts, was when Tutti and the very cute Charlie performed together. It had them giggling away and laughing out loud.
The first half is then a celebration of the earliest circus acts – Cossack horse riders and a Spiderman aerialist walking upside down 30-foot high up on the Big Top with nothing but sawdust to protect him from his dare devil high monkey bar tricks – we literally had our hands to our mouths and there were gasps from the audience throughout.
Paulo dos Santos, the Brazilian Caoepeira expert who brings his rhythm and acrobatics to get the audience going is brilliant throughout the show.
The second half begins and ends with a true circus family – the Garcias! It begins with the most daredevil act I’ve ever seen with a husband and wife duo and a rocket! It was incredible! And finishes with their sons performing some amazing acrobatic dancing and gymnastics – the future of the circus right there!
It truly is the greatest show!
Roll Up! Roll Up! The Big Top is in town – and what exciting jaw-dropping acts they have brought this year for the 250th celebration of the circus!
Zippos Circus is at Endcliffe Park in Sheffield from 9-13 August 2018, for more information or to book tickets online visit zippos.co.uk.
Zippos Circus, Endcliffe Park, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 7AB | 0871 210 2100