This week was a whole Big Top full of fun for Kate of the Chichester Design crew. We received some free tickets through the post courtesy of the Netherlands National Circus for the performance on Thursday of this week and Kate, being the big kid that she is, jumped at the chance to get down to West Park, Bognor Regis, and get ring-side.
An envelope full of tickets was sent to Chichester Design and after distributing them to friends and family we decided to give the remaining few away via Twitter. Kate asked who would like the tickets and waited for the Tweets to come flooding back. First to reply was Chichester based Isabel Kendrick who scored the tickets for her family. On collecting the tickets, Isabel even bought us some yummy cupcakes to say thanks, which was most unexpected but treats are always welcome in the Chichester Design office!
I rounded up some friends and arrived in plenty of time to collect our tickets from the circus box office so we had a nice stroll down Bognor promenade and made the most of the refreshing sea breeze. I was pleasantly surprised when we entered the circus tent, there were no arduous queues and refreshments were not overpriced. There was even a man in a rather fetching shiny buttoned get-up selling popcorn from a snack tray around his shoulders –it was all very old school!
Our tickets allowed us to sit pretty much anywhere we wanted so we opted for some central seats with an excellent view of the ring and the live band. Yes a real band, which accompanied the live action throughout and most definitely added that traditional vibe and lovely atmosphere to the evening’s entertainment.
Curious to find out exactly what the Netherlands National Circus had to offer, a flick through the programme revealed that it involved a hybrid of cultures with stars from the acclaimed Moscow State Circus and the Monte Carlo Circus Festival, a flying troupe from the USA and the Mongolian Gymnastic Fantastics. The Netherlands National Circus most definitely unites the best circus acts from around the world in a thoroughly well thought-out show that is funny, shocking and sensational all at once.
There were such a variety of quality acts that I’m hard pushed to pick my favourite although I did enjoy Alina Eskina’s unique cube routine. This was fantastically choreographed to take the performer from the circus ring into the air and back again in a dazzling display. The daring Bull Dancers who gave a performance and a half on the flying trapeze were also a highlight. The brave troupe leader, Anton von Ostendorp, attempted the never attempted before Triple Somersault which he sadly missed to achieve by a mere millisecond. It was a nail biting moment indeed.
But for me, above all else was the Netherlands National Circus Search for a Star Talent Contest with Strictly Come Dancing in the Ring. Bizarre as it may sound the reason why this comedy act was particularly hilarious for me was because my other half got to make his Big Top début alongside Jerry the clown. When it was announced that Strictly come Dancing star Anton Du Beke had “failed to turn up” and they would need an audience member to take part in the tongue-in-cheek dance contest the hearts of every audience member stopped beating as the spotlight loomed.
However, that spotlight lingered just that little bit too long near us and as I sat there thinking “please not me” I was relieved when magic master and act presenter Ross Presto started talking to Pete. That was until I saw him walking towards the ring and I realised that he was going to be dancing in front of half of Bognor- I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that point.
The boy did good though. He looked a tad timid when he was asked to do a few saucy Latino moves to start but he began to get into the swing during the second act, which was that eighties classic and his favourite party piece- the robot. The real belly laughs came when he was asked to do the River Dance blind folded and everyone else vacated the ring and left poor Pete flailing around doing something not dissimilar to a gangly Can Can to Irish music. Good times!
Isabel and her bunch had a fab time too, here are our Tweets:
Make sure you check back next week when the Chichester Design team will be taking to the Go Kart tracks at Gosport for the ultimate in team building shenanigans.
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