A day at Zippo's circus

Earlier this month we were invited along to visit Zippo's Circus during their visit to Sheffield! I'd seen the big top tent go up in our local park and tried to think back to the last time I visited a circus... I don't think I actually have! 

We were promised a fun filled afternoon of comedy, risk taking, dare devil stunts,memory making and candy floss fuelled gasps and giggles. 

And my oh my did they deliver. 

Arriving at Endcliffe Park around 20 minutes before the midday showing we collected our tickets, marvelled at the ginormous big top tent and headed to our ringside seats to wait for the show to start. 

Tickets to the show range in price depending on how close you are to the ring; ringside are £27.50 per adult, deluxe view £22.50 per adult, front view £21.50, side view £18.50 and restricted view are  £10.50 per adult. Children's (2-14 years) prices also differ depending on location of seats and under 2's are free if they sit on your knee. 

My friend Hannah from Childcare Adventures blog went to the show the day before and recommended picking up one of the spinning light toys (£5) to keep Aria entertained whilst we waited for the show to begin... such a good suggestion; she bloody loved it!
The show was introduced by this charming gent, Emilion Delbosq; he kept  the pace and direction throughout the two hours; introducing the acts, throwing in the odd trick and distracting the audience when the props set up took place in the centre ring. Thankfully for me he didn't select me to take part in any of the tricks but Johno got to take centre stage and have smoke rings blown at a cup placed on his head..much to Aria's delight!
Having ringside seats at a Zippo's circus, in my opinion, is a must... we were so close to the action and it meant I didn't have to worry about getting photos of the backs of peoples heads! 

Here are a few snaps of our favourite acts from the first half of the show-
The Timbuktu Tumblers- insanely skilled guys who manage to use each other as climbing frames! The strength these lot have is very impressive.. they wowed us with balancing, lifting, bouncing and basically doing everything I couldn't ever even attempt to do with my body. 
Nicolas Souren- A very skilled juggler who just kept adding more and more objects into the throwing mix... this guy must have practiced for years to get to this level of skill; very impressive!
Rather eye watering and impressively bendy Juma the contortionist. I have to admit, this act sent shivers through me but at the same time was extremely entertaining. The things this guy can do with his body.. insane! Next time I complain about my back hurting from carrying a baby I'm going to remind myself of Juma; our bodies are amazingly flexible and this guy has just mastered the art of bending in every direction possible. 
Half way through the show was an interval; allowing the crew to set up for the next section and the audience to grab a drink and buy some of the circus themed souvenirs.. spinning plates seemed to be a hit with the crowd.
The second part of the show involved the larger more complex acts; The Khadikov Cossack Riders and the Globe of Death.

The Khadikov Riders fearlessly perform acrobatic stunts whilst racing around the big top ring riding beautiful horses. Having ringside seats for this performance really does get your heart racing! I was so engrossed in the act I didn't get any photos of the horses and acrobats but you can check out a the official tour photos here.
Aria was fasinated throughout as you can tell from this photo.. she loved being so close up to the horses. 

Circuses have moved on so much in recent years and the welfare of the animal's taking part in the show is top priority for the organisers; if you want to check out the latest report from inspectors click here.
Last but by no means least I thought I'd include a photo of, in my opinion, the most impressive part of the show- The Globe of Death.  

This extreme motorcycle stunt is performed by the Lucius team headed up by Brazilian squad leader and stunt inventor, Lucius Zafalon. The motorcycle team start off by entering the 15ft globe shaped cage on motorcycles and whizzing around it at scary speeds.. as the act goes on more bikes enter the globe and somehow they all manage to lock into perfect synchronisation and circle the globe coming within centimetres of each other. They also invite their assistant (who wears no helmet or body protection!) to stand in the centre whilst they fly round her.. just crazy!! As the act continues the globe opens up and the riders continue to circle round.. I was petrified but also amazed by the precision of the riders; so very skilled.  You can watch video of it here

There are a lot of other really good elements of the show to enjoy that I haven't featured within my post as I don't want to ruin all the surprises of the circus if you decide to head along to the 2017 tour; I particular enjoyed ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE and his budgie show.. so cute!!
At the end of the show all the performers came out together to take a bow and thank us all for watching.. honestly, these men and women have stamina, putting on these shows a number of times a day over many months. What a crazy hardworking life they must all live!
Right at the end as we were all leaving we had the opportunity to get a photo with the ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE!

Zippo's Circus are on tour around the UK  until the end of October listing Brighton, various parts of London and Coventry.  To buy tickets click here

Have you been to Zippo's Circus before? 


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