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Family Time at Zippos Circus

If you are like me your recollection of a circus dates back to the 80's (I vaguely remember draughty tents) and more recently Cirque de Soleil- a rather different spectacle. So I was intrigued to visit Zippos Circus at Brent Cross with my 3 and 5 year olds, on their first visit to a circus.

Hosted by Norman Barrett MBE, ‘the World’s Greatest Ringmaster’, Zippos has received four-star reviews in the national Press and in 2013 was voted Britain’s Best Classical Circus.  In many ways, the show put on by Zippos is very reflective of my 80's recollection- circular grand tent, traditional ring master and a whole range of acts. The children loved the acrobatics, and the very bendy woman, and were plotting how they are going to swing to extreme heights in the park, shimmy up the curtains or squeeze themselves into bottles when they get home.

The strong man (Hercules) was also a big hit, and I found my 5 year old recounting rapturously how the man had carried 2 men and 2 women swing from a log across his shoulders, and how a car had driven over his chest- impressive stuff.

The Rastellis

I was interested to see the much publicised clown act, The Rastellis. They were engaging clowns with plenty of trick and treats and talented trumpet/sax players too. I was personally less interested in the animal tricks, although the dancing little and large horses were really cute. However the "comic interludes" were not, in my view, particularly funny or family friendly.

But as an event the kids loved it - they were dancing in the aisles at the energetic music and genuinely entranced by some of the acts.  Running to 2 1/2 hours this is certainly value for money and a great way to spend a half term afternoon. The Circus runs until 2 March 2014 (check website for exact dates and times.

Now, which child is hanging off the curtains....

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