Circuses are like busses at the moment – we hadn’t been to one in years, then we saw two in a week!
But we’re not complaining. The first whet our appetites for the second and the kids – now harbouring ambitions to be acrobats – shrieked with delight as they ran across the Savile Park grass towards the Moscow State Circus Big Top.
Moscow State Circus has spent the last few years honing “Gostinitsa”. It’s a circus experience – such as you would see at Cirque du Soleil – with a theme and story, alongside the daredevil stunts you’d expect.
We attended a 5pm show and it started promptly. After a funny routine from the Chervotkins Duo clowns (they had the adults in fits of laughter too) a troupe of energetic bellboys burst into the ring with skipping ropes. These were no ordinary playground skipping tricks, standing on each others’ shoulders and skipping with several ropes at a time.
There’s unicycling, foot juggling, and a marvellous hula hooping acrobat who swings from her ankle while spinning hoops around hands, feet and everywhere else. There are acrobats performing up ten-metre poles balanced on other men’s heads, and the climax of their act; three of them balanced on one – very strong – man’s shoulder.
My favourite was the trapeze artists who, while high in the air, had a girl step on each of their heads and do the splits. Then one walked the tightrope, a ten metre pole balanced on his head, and the girl balanced at the top!
Even my baby – snuggled into a baby carrier wearing noise-cancelling headphones – had a huge grin on her face by the end of that.