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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

Nights at the Circus: Circus Zyair, Chichester

Circus Zyair set up their Big Top and accompanying bar in Oaklands Park, Chichester. Wending our way past the Chichester Festival Theatre we joined the first-night queue for what turned out to be a fun and thrill-packed show in a jam-packed Big Top.

Note: Sadly, the Circus Zyair website doesn't include the names of the artistes/acts so I can only describe them in general terms.

I'd "dragged" along my friend Tracy who'd never been to the circus, and was curious as to my enthusiasm for them! By the end of the first act, a tumbling trio, she was hooked! By the end of the night she was up for coming again with her other half on the Friday night!

This was my third circus in as many months and the ground level tumbling, acrobats, juggling, clown were of equal standard to those at Zippos and Circus Wonderland. What thrilled me this week was, instead of the high-flying trapeze acts from the previous two months, was a tightrope act (much of it watched through my fingers) which incorporated chairs, poles, jumping, splits, carrying one another other shoulders.

There was also a slackwire act, I can't even remember the last time I saw one! The performer in his shiny gold costume had previously been the straight man when in the clown act, a child near me had called out that he was "a big meanie" when trying to stop the clown from having fun! The clown wore costumes reminiscent of superheroes and when accompanied by his panto-horse, Woody from Toy Story.

Another watching through fingers act was the acrobats (presenting a Brazilian) who were launching each other high into the circus roof before landing on a mat, and in one instance on a chair on a high pole.

The "Wheel of Death" required both turning away and watching through fingers. A (different) child near me exclaiming "they're defying gravity" on numerous occasions, before confidently saying that was the best act of the night!

The finale was a motorcycle act "Cage of Death". I'd seen a similar act a Zippos: Four motorcycles spinning at speed, in unison, in the domed cage. But this had a bonus element. Look out for the arrival into the ring of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th bikes!

A great night was had by all!

Top Tip for the Big Top: Do take a cushion, as the hard benches are hard-going!

Top Tip Two for the Big Top: If you are going on the bargain £5.99 opening night, get there early to nab some good seats.


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