It almost goes without saying that when February half term rolls around, we will find ourselves at the circus! We have been going to Gandeys Thrill Circus for a couple of years now and each time we visit, we have a great experience.
For 2019 it has returned to Aintree Racecourse and their theme is once again The Greatest Showman, although I have to stress that this isn’t a tribute show to the film. Snippets of some of the songs are used, but this is very much an independent circus show.
From the minute you are beckoned down the red carpet by the ringmaster, to the suspense as they build up and you wait for the show to begin; you really get the impression that they have tried to create a welcoming environment which is fun for all the family.
There were some familiar faces for us, including the return of the clown Chico Rico, whom we haven’t seen since 2016! However, each of the acts brought something new to the show and there was a wonderful mix of acrobatics, stunts (the motorbike ‘globe of death’ literally saw me with my hands over my eyes) and comedy. Audience participation is always encouraged and I think this year James was pleased to not be picked on!
A favourite this time around was the Tanzanian ‘rubber man’ who managed to contort himself into some eye-watering positions and poses, all with a cheeky sense of humour which the kids also loved.
Eli’s personal highlight was at the end when the acts came out into the stands and he was able to high-five one of the stuntmen; although he has since declared he is going to practice to be able to ride a motorbike ‘like that’ so I’m not sure it’s necessarily something this mama is going to celebrate. But it once again demonstrated the inclusive, and family-friendly atmosphere, which permeates throughout.
I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in my review last year, but one of the things which continues to stand out for me is the fact that not every act goes right each time. It lends an honesty and a realness to the show, that these are people performing and always makes me appreciate it that bit more.
Altogether there are over 30 international circus performers, coming from all over the world including Cuba, Mexico, Ghana, Columbia and the UK. A family ticket costs around £45 although it is worth checking out the Gandeys website as they have a couple of special offers such as all seats 2 for 1 on Friday 1 March.
Having been for a number of years now, and I want to stress that we have always enjoyed ourselves, I think something which the show could benefit from is a storyline which runs throughout. In many respects I can see hints of where they have tried to do this, and there were a few more elements this year which we haven’t seen before, but I think it would appeal to a larger audience if there was some element of storytelling which took you from one act to the next. The show lacked a little fluidity for me. This is really a minor point and not something I would notice, had this not been our third year attending. As I said, we have always enjoyed ourselves and if they return to Liverpool in 2020 then I’m sure you will find us there once again!
If you are looking for something different to do over half term, or one weekend in February then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Gandeys Circus. There is something to entertain everyone and I’m confident you would have a wonderful time.
Gandeys Circus will be in Liverpool until Sunday 3 March and then will move on to other locations in the UK including Newcastle under Lyme, Ellesmere Port, Knutsford and Edinburgh.