This site has, on purpose, always tried to promote magic, our allied arts and indeed live entertainment as much as possible. It has not yet been used to criticize. Until now. I would dearly have loved to eulogise about my night at the circus. Alas as you will read this is not to be.
The first irony is in the name. Big Top Circus. Upon entering a cold, small tent you are met with the usual array of merchandise and photo ops and not much else in the way of production. The lighting rig comprised of two sets of 8 LED cans and an old follow spot.
On with the show and we are greeted by our first ringmaster of the evening who is quite hard to hear above the feedback of a thin sounding and inadequate sound system. The first half was ... well lets just say, slow handclapable. If parading an ostrich around the ring and getting audience members to feed it is an act there is hope for us all. First half equals 30 minutes.
Interval time and a photo op with a camel and pony rides. All was fine until the camel wouldn't move for the second half to commence. Whether it wouldn't or couldn't is up to debate. I did grab a small video of the incident which you can view below before being asked to stop recording. This led to a confrontation with the usher. I mentioned I was in the business to some degree and what a disgrace this was. This was countered with, "well you should understand things happen unexpectedly." "Oh I do understand" I said, but what I didn't understand was that we were twenty minutes into the interval and not a single person had come on the PA to apologise to the audience. Cue two minutes later an apology. Eventually the camel is dragged off stage on wobbly legs. Interval equals 1 minute longer then the first half.
To be fair the second half was better with a good bycicle act, The Jackson Family if memory serves and a fun (though not a patch on Clive Webb and Danny Adams) water fight skit. Here comes irony number two. A comic, Marco, doing a turn to Frank Sinatra's My Way. Ironic as he was doing George Carls act. I'll repeat that. Doing George Carls act while singing My Way. Seriously I'm not kidding. Unbelievable. Your way indeed Marco and your way was shit. The raffle winner was announced. The sceptic in me noted that the winner was sat beside the follow spot operator. One more act and that was that. Second half equals 40 minutes.
Of course one euro would have allowed me access to the animal enclosure. I was nearly tempted too, just to see how our old friend the camel was doing or if in fact he was doing at all.
As a fellow performer it brings me no delight to write what I have here but shame on you Big Top for dirtying the wonderful art of Circus.