Two years ago we went to the Christmas Circus at Squire’s Garden Centre in Badshot Lea and even now it’s one of the best festive experiences we’ve been to. This year we were invited back to see their new Christmas Circus – The Greatest Snowman and the children were so excited for our evening out and our first festive event of the season.
Squire’s Christmas Circus is hosted inside a traditional looking circus tent that is accessed through the garden centre’s car park. There’s a big doorway at the front of the tent and a set of posh mobile toilets near the entrance. We went inside and found people selling popcorn, candyfloss and various light up toys on the way to find our seats. Seats aren’t allocated and are just taken on a first come basis but you would get a good view from anywhere inside the tent.
We took our seats and were met with radio show style music and announcements to pass the time until the show started but before long the lights went down and the ringmaster came out to introduce the show. It kicked off with a Frosty the Snowman being brought on stage – he really wanted to make it in the circus so all the following acts were suggestions of things he could do.
A clown act followed – and the clown appeared throughout the show at various intervals, doing a double act with the ringmaster, sitting in the audience and adding humour to the Christmas circus show.
The first main act was Ross Walters who does an amazing diabolo act – spinning one and then two diabolos all over the place. He was a great act to kick off the show and really got the audience going. He dropped the diabolo at one point and we all felt for him – and the ringmaster let him try again. It was a fantastic start to the main show.
Next up a trapeze artist came out and impressed us with her skills in the air. LP exclaimed that she was ‘so flexible’ and we were all in awe of her stunts and the lack of wires or harness. She was amazing.
The sword balancing act was the first one where I wondered how circus acts learn to do the things they do – they must have no fear at all. The entertainer balanced a sword on her head before holding a small dagger in her mouth and balancing a sword on the end of it – placing a candelabra on the top. She then climbed up and down a ladder – it was so dangerous and so scary but because of that it was great to watch and fantastic entertainment.
Another dangerous and scary but really entertaining act was the knife throwing where not only did the man throw knives at a board the lady was standing against but he also threw them blindfolded. This was toned down massively from the previous Christmas Circus we saw at Squire’s though as I remember the children really didn’t like this part but they loved it this time.
One of the most entertaining acts was the balancing man. He would balance on balls and tubes – on a platform – and even climb ladders, cover himself in hula hoops and juggle at the same time. He was hilarious, entertaining and great fun to watch.
Later in the show Ross Walters came back and did an aerial silk performance that was amazing. He was dressed in a suit, wearing glasses and looked almost like Clark Kent – except doing circus skills. It was so great to watch.
Just before the grand finale the Grinch came out to steal not only presents but also the ringmaster. It was a pantomime style ‘he’s behind you’ act and the children absolutely loved it – shrieking that they’d seen the Grinch. It was simple fun at it’s finest.
The circus finished with an incredible trapeze act where a man literally dangled from a platform near the roof and swung his partner through the air, letting go at various points, switching positions and just doing such an entertaining act. It was a really great end to the show.
After the show we were invited to meet Father Christmas and the children were given gifts – fake snow, sweets and a badge each. This was a really nice end to such a festive event and the children had such a great time. I know they’ll be talking about Squire’s Christmas Circus for months. You can find out more about the show here.
Here’s a little video we made of our trip:
Disclosure: We were invited to the above performance for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.