Giffords Circus has returned to the grounds of Chiswick House. This year’s show, The Hooley, comes from the imagination of the late Nell Gifford who dreamt up the show with Director Cal McCrystal.
Before Covid, Giffords had become an annual fixture on Chiswick’s social calendar. After a year-long hiatus the Giffords was warmly welcomed back to Chiswick, with the audience filling the big top tent almost to capacity.
Having never been to a Giffords performance, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland circus, and some minor fairground circuses, but never one with such high production value and such beautiful choreography.
Images above: the Giffords wagon at Circus’ entrance, a new and less fun addition, Tweedy the Clown opens the show
The two hour performance is an eclectic fusion between traditional circus acts, comedy and musical theatre. Recurring stars Lil Rice, Tweedy The Clown and Nancy Trotter are back, with live music from the Giffords Circus band directed by musical director James Keay.
The result of these combined talents is a captivating, hilarious, and sometimes a poignant display – such as the aerial hoop performance by two male artists, which had clear romantic undertones, which was met with cheers and applause throughout.
Images above: the two male aerial hoop artists perform, a tap dance-off!
It felt like stepping into some sort of fantasy world, with performers dressed in Elven Faery outfits, trained animals trotting (and flying) around the room. It was nothing short of magical. Definitely a unique experience you won’t want to miss out on.
Though the circus is so popular it gets booked up weeks before they open, but you may be lucky and find there are a few tickets left.
Image above: Nancy Trotter and her unicorn, an aerial acrobat flying around the stage, Celting tap-dancing
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See also: Gifford’s Circus
See also: All star turn out for the circus
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