wed 15/07/2020

War and Peace at the Circus, Giffords Circus | reviews, news & interviews

War and Peace at the Circus, Giffords Circus

War and Peace at the Circus, Giffords Circus

Tolstoy's epic in a little big top is a ridiculously innocent delight

The Battle of Borodino: The French, with two horses, beat the Russians, with one

A village green, a little big top - and War and Peace. Sometimes large ambitions come in the smallest packages, and one can only take one’s hat off to the ambitious, pocket-sized Giffords Circus for setting out to squish Tolstoy’s four-volume epic of love and internecine war into a very small sawdust ring, with horses, jugglers, aerialists, clowns and gymnasts. And as you park your car on the green and wander over under the quiet afternoon sky to the cute white tent where a rackety little brass band is parping and blaring from inside (and check out the “War and Pizza” trailer for the interval), you are in for a ridiculously good time.

Napoleon is a maniacal knife-thrower, peppering the map of Russia with daggers flipped from his mouth

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Gifford's circus is an utter gem and clearly a labour of love. The performers seem to be enjoying themselves which produces a very warm atmosphere. If you didn't know war and Peace you will be none the wiser at the end but none of the kids seem to care. I'll pick out the guy dressed as Napoleon doing a very dodgy 'French' dance as he flicked knives over a European map as a particular delight. But the entire ensemble are great. Pity those in the rest of the UK who miss this gem.

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