From the ship – on to the ball! (those of you more apt linguistically, is there another English equivalent for с корабля на бал?) Ok, not exactly a ball, but for my taste, a good circus performance suffices…
At any given time, there are a couple of travelling circus troupes performing in Greater London. We have once attended a performance by a Chinese troupe, which was pretty good, but left me with a bit of a feeling of being second-tier. Before leaving for France, Natasha came across tickets for another Chinese Circus at Blackheath (which is a 10-minute drive from our house) as well as for the Moscow State Circus at the Ealing Common, which is about as far from us across the city to the west as possible. Despite the distance, we chose the Russian version.
The trip by public transportation was onerous, to say the least, as we were travelling in the general direction of a large number of football fans going to a game. But in the end, it was worth it.
The performance was simply fantastic, with jumping and flying acrobats, jugglers, equilibrists, clowns, stunts with crossbows, magic tricks with woman-slicing, even a human canon ball (now, that’s an outdated concept – the guys on the trapeze were flying higher and longer than the poor bloke who shot out of the cannon). No animals, but I personally always found animal segments less interesting than, say, trampoline jumping. Well, maybe not always; I am sure when I was a child, cute dogs, massive elephants and fearsome tigers held as much attraction to me as human feats, if not more. It is probably the same for my children, as well, but they’ve been to circus only a handful of times in their lives (whereas I probably went to the circus at least once a year when I was little), so any type of circus performance is fascinating to them.
Great outing!!! Circus may be a bit forgotten in our times among the myriad of the various forms of entertainment, but it remains a superb choice for entertaining kids of all ages.
One word of advice, though. Forget the three-ring Barnum and Bailey show. To borrow from my local lingua, it’s rubbish. To truly experience circus, you need to go to a Big Top or a circus-only venue, where even the uppermost rows allow you to remain in close proximity to everything that happens on the arena.