An Afternoon at the Great Moscow Circus!

September 19, 2010 in Shows by pacejmiller

A few weeks ago I went to see the Great Moscow Circus, which is in the middle of its ‘regional’ Australia tour, even though this particular show was pretty close to the city.

I haven’t always been a fan of the circus — yes, I’ll admit, ever since I watched Stephen King’s It as a kid I’ve been terrified of clowns (shudder).

Anyway, it was time to put those fears aside, because the Moscow Circus doesn’t come around very often — maybe once every 2 or 3 years, if you’re lucky.  It’s a travelling circus comprising some of the most amazing acts from around the world, and although it’s not as glamorous or well-funded as say the artistic Cirque Du Soleil, it’s certainly no less impressive.

We went to see an afternoon session (they have 3 sessions on Saturdays, 2 on Sundays, and 1 or 2 almost every other day of the week — life is not easy as a travelling performer), which was playing at an empty sports ground.  The show was inside a massive tent that fits up to 1000 people, and has a relatively tiny performing stage in the middle.

Most of those in attendance were parents and grandparents with young children.  It had a very carnival-like atmosphere, which I love, and I think it’s a fantastic show to take kids, especially in this day and age where almost everything is simulated.

Three other positives it has over Cirque Du Soleil — (1) the prices are significantly cheaper (you can purchase tickets at the door for just $25 for adults and $16 for children, and the most expensive ringside tickets are only $60; (2) you get to sit real close to the action (one thing that irked me about Cirque Du Soleil was how far the stage was from everyone), and even if you sit in the back row you can still get a wonderful view; and (3) the performers are not as precious — by that I mean they get up close and personal with the audience.  Kids are screaming and laughing and moving around all the time, but like true professionals, they don’t get distracted.  And get this — one performer I saw that afternoon did the juggling, the magic show and the stunning final act, AND he was selling drinks during the intermission.  Talk about multi-talented!

One of the heart-stopping acts (Source: ntnews.com.au)

As for the show itself, I was very impressed with some of the things they did, which was a combination of traditional circus acts (like juggling, magic and body contorting) and stuff you’ve probably never seen before (no spoilers, but it was cra-zy).  And yes, there were a few clowns that came out between acts to keep the crowd interested and stir up the kids.  And yes, they still scare the crap out of me!

Roughly 2 hours later, the show came to a close and all the parents and kids left the tent with wide grins across their faces.  I had forgotten just how fun the circus is, especially when you’re a kid.

To find out more, check the Moscow Circus website.  Apparently more Sydney shows are to be announced, and after that they will travel to regional areas in South Australia and Victoria.

PS: There was a slight controversy last month with one of the acts, which involved goldfish.  That act has now been cancelled.

Pennywise from Stephen King's IT