55   729
64   656
54   329
80   291
88   727
88   640

Giffords Circus. A review. A very very good one!

Giffords Circus Review 2015

This morning didn’t have the most auspicious start I’ve got to admit. I’m not a big drinker usually but this weekend just happened to include two nights out in a row. Including last night when my husband and I accidentally crashed a wedding. No seriously. It honestly was a genuine error though. We arrived at the venue that he had written down carefully on the calendar before putting the invite into the recycling, (maybe now he will stop moaning at me for keeping everything!!), we were a little late and flustered and weren’t too phased that we didn’t recognize anyone, we only really knew the groom after all!

We headed straight for the bar and got a drink, and after about 10 minutes of looking round, slowly came to the realisation that we may not be at the right wedding, my (hapless!) husband refused to believe we, (he!), could make such an error, until it was 100% confirmed when we went for a tactical look at the cards on the gift table, oh yes,and meeting the father of the groom was a hint too!

Amazingly, we managed to style it out, and while he went off to try and get hold of his friend, (without his phone, because of course he’s left that at home!) my conscience had me standing at the bar trying to subtly explain to the barman our predicament and pay for our drinks, as I couldn’t live with myself knowing that the lovely gift of the first drink being on the bride and groom, was going to go to two people they’d never met!

It just shows that it pays to be honest, because the barman took our drinks off their tab without making me pay for them, and also told me it happened quite a bit and gave me directions to another hotel with a very similar name. And so we made it out without being rumbled, near hysterical with relieved giggles, thinking that surely this must qualify as a tick on our bucketlists!! Luckily, pulling up at the second wedding venue of the night, a large sign on with the name of the bride and groom on put our mind at rest, my faith in my husband’s ability to write any details down properly severely shaken.

Real relief that we'd found the right wedding!!!

Real relief that we’d found the right wedding!!!

So there we were, a little jaded, but with a planned trip to see the amazing Gifford’s Circus we went out for breakfast and then after a quick visit home to change into shorts, (very unexpected to see the sun!), and to grab some snacks and sun cream, we set off on the incredibly scenic route to one of Britain’s real beauty spots, Minchinhampton Common.

The way to Giffords circus was well signposted, and once we arrived, there was ample parking for visitors and around the pristine white big top were very quaint, old-fashioned, burgundy vans selling reasonably priced food, snacks and various other concessions. There were also plenty of toilets which is always brilliant with a high ratio of small people present.

We arrived about half an hour early and already there were short queues to enter the big top, but with two entrances, the lines moved quickly and it was a very smooth and stress-free process to get everyone in and seated. We easily managed to get seats in the second row back from the ring where all the excitement would happen, which was lucky as there is no set seating allocation. We even had time to practise our ‘amazed’ faces, as you can see below!

010d32af6ad8e382db5c7c4f0f06ed59d3de04682b 017c2dbfd43eaf3083651f6d85ff18e0a56cb47716 (2)   0150c658d8882247fd36b2e4c734125f9d6d502aed

We waited for a short while, the excitement palpable, before the hilarious Tweedie the Clown came out to start things off and entertain everyone while the last people found seats and sat down. He was absolutely brilliant and very quickly had all the children in the audience in absolute belly aching hysterics. The adults were all in fits as well actually!

Giffords circus

It swung between this sort of hilarity and open mouthed awe the entire show!

Please believe me when I tell you that to me, from exciting start until the echo of the last clap dies away, Giffords Circus is everything that is right in this world and that is written with no exaggeration!

I wasn’t sure what to expect before we went, we’d never been before, but I’d heard very good things and my friend had told me it was brilliant when she asked if we wanted to get tickets to go with her. It costs £22 for an adult ticket and £14 for a child over three and I’m totally happy to say that it was worth every penny.

It exceeded all my expectations of what a circus should be like, and then some. The costumes were exquisite, not what I imagined they’d be, all ball room style sparkly leotards, but more carefully handmade traditional costumes that really helped add to the very real illusion that you had entered another world and time altogether.

0154a50e0811949f842e384359ca5fa10a3a959e56    016f804c4e02ae8f03f74de25fce7cf5e48ff87eb2     011bc67b3f34b7e24e638126ba2cbe884ead9326f6 (2)

The show was two hours in total, including a brilliantly timed interval, and was the perfect mix of breath-taking stunts and magic tricks, amazingly well trained horses, comedy, showmanship, fun, wonderful music and loads of laughter.

It was a real highlight for me when the two gorgeous, happy dogs bounded into the ring, obviously loving their roles! You can tell when animals are happy and enjoying performing and all the animals involved in the production looked incredibly well cared for, beautifully groomed and as if they wouldn’t be anywhere else in the world at that moment.

Giffords circus                  01e1c47f3ebc1b81c4712716a6e7a9ea94c0ecf031 (2)       0164d9361195b2646af6431a264f34e4706c413d6c (2)

We were lucky enough to get seats right next the musicians because they were a show in themselves, fabulous costumes and some incredibly talented players that used a whole array of different instruments to bring the story to life. They were so good that my little boy spent a fair amount of time just watching them.

01ffbe4617d5a27e5551573947d0de54e1fdcd9ffa     01f1ae0bbf5189ee7e186eeef4006059f22f645b6a (2)

The many acts included contortion, juggling, aerial acrobatics, tumbling, jokes and slapstick, all neatly telling a story and leading seamlessly from one act to another. Some of the acts performed stunts that looked so dangerous and skilled that the whole audience was rendered silent, it took a moment’s pause after they’d finished for us all to regain the ability to react, before the whole audience would burst into wild cheers and clapping.

The whole show was so well executed and the thing I think I liked most was the sheer enjoyment of everyone involved, animals included, and you really get the sense that everyone loves working together and had as much fun performing their acts as we did watching them.

01500743c521d2c181aab1ac00d7831adce32e2f45 012422a72521fa3be701babbd6964cf6edba17cd58 (2) 0139c7cfae7fe9a523838788a552cec8937a181e36 (2) 01f32ec8bd351de286142be724aeaabf701b123529 01be64e9df971ef7b3fecc0224a0b350d47596fb3a (2) 01b01d59c6743fdd47da4fe45354114ccfdc1c0712 (2)

Everyone seemed to really support each other and it was a real pleasure to watch.

The end was fabulous with a whole cast choreographed dance, and after, all the children were invited to join in. Our two, whilst usually erring on the cautious side where audience participation is involved, were out of their seats and in the ring in a flash, both desperate to be a part of the fun. My son even got a ride on a tumbler’s shoulders which he was beyond thrilled about!

018024fa2b1545bb14dc1b87861070cdf7b5458e80       0101afa95cce4c1f11c31270ef0c295c52987a75ae (2)
I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone reading how I felt about Gifford’s Circus, I LOVED it, and all I want to do now is learn a skill and run away and join them! 😉 At one point during the astonishing tumbling, my daughter leaned in to me and whispered that one day she’d like to be an act in the circus. If it ever happens, I will be one proud Mama!

Giffords Circus were genuinely excellent and put on an absolutely breathtaking show and I have no doubt that it will be our family tradition to go for many many years to come.



  1. August 18, 2015 / 9:49 am

    It’s so nice to hear a good review of a circus! All I ever seem to see are other mums saying how disappointing they are. Glad you all enjoyed it 🙂

    P.S. Wedding-crashing story is brilliant 😉

    • August 18, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      I still can’t believe we did that!!! 😀 so funny! The circus was so magical, I still want to run away & join them today. Especially today actually!!!! Not sure I’m cut out for summer hols! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.