We all love a good circus. The thrill of the Big Top – what we call the mobile tent where circuses perform around the country – stays with us for life. The classic circus performances – by acrobats and clowns, by animals and magicians – have been captivating large audiences in America, Asia and Europe for centuries.
The performances originally took place in open-air structures with limited shelter. But towards the end of the 18th century custom-made circus buildings began to appear in London and some east-coast cities of America. The 20th century brought even wider popularisation with Barnum and Bailey’s travelling circus (on which the recent film The Greatest Showman is based). In Russia, the circus came to be considered as high art, and a state circus school was established in the 1920s.
In the modern day, we recommend the magic of Giffords Circus – as Michael Billington from The Guardian says: “The performers are no woozy hippies, but formidable athletes”. What you take away from the experience is encapsulated by Nell Gifford, who founded the circus, “Art is love”. Every detail has had attention poured into it – the costumes are handmade, the sets are painted in the barns on the farm.
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