We walked into the round room and the smell of toffee popcorn hung in the air. Retro pin ball machines glimmered sumptuously in the darkness near the bar and the sideshows ran around the edge, all looking fabulous with their retro painted signs harking back to the 1940's. In the middle of the room is where Professor Vanessa curates the show and where the other performances happen such as the Strongman lifting insects from the Insect Circus, trapeze artists, fire performers, tight rope walkers and many more.
There was also a penny arcade run by Pinball Geoff, who funnily enough we knew as he had played at our wedding! (bikini beach band) His reconditioned retro games are beautiful. Evie had a go on the Fortune Teller and got 'Success is assured'
There were 8 side shows in total; The Mummy, Cleo the Girl In A Goldfish Bowl, Electra, The Headless Lady, The Butterfly Girl, The Half Lady, Kingdom of Shadows and Miss-O-Genies. We managed to see everything apart from Electra as time had run out, which was a shame. We started with The Mummy which, in hindsight, was a little scary for Evie being 2 and a quarter. Cleopatra does a little dance and then turns into a mummy and charges forward out of her box and everyone has to leg it out of the tent....Not the best start !
But everything else was a lot tamer and the acts that performed in the middle were lovely, particularly Hula Girl, James and I saw her at La Clique in 2009 and she's brilliant. Evie liked her too and it was really lovely seeing her clapping away.
Overall we thought the whole experience was really fun and evocative of the era and definitely full of 1940's wonder. Evie's favourites were the Butterfly Girl and Cleo, the Girl in The Fish Bowl and all the fabulous acts in the middle of the ring. A great first circus experience for Evie, even if it was a little scary! The show is now sold out but if they do do it again I'd really recommend it. Although it probably is a bit better for children who are a little older.