Category: EventCircus

Moscow State Circus

I’ve reached the grand age of 37 without having ever visited the circus, so I had little idea what to expect when I went along with my husband and daughters (aged 8 and 5) to the Moscow State Circus in Plymouth’s Central Park. All of our ideas of the circus have been pre-conceived by watching ‘The Greatest Showman’, and I wonder at what effect the popularity of that film has had on people taking an interest in visiting the circus- certainly on the sunny autumnal Sunday that we visited, it was clearly in high-demand!

As we arrived the atmosphere was full of excitement and anticipation- the foyer had stalls selling hot dogs, popcorn, slushies, candyfloss and beautiful Matryoshka dolls that had my daughters talking about Christmas wish lists already! Ours was a sold-out show, and the brightly coloured lights, nostalgic smell of popcorn and the dramatic music created an exciting and vibrant atmosphere, without being overwhelming for the many small children attending.

The show is themed ‘Gostinista’, or ‘Hotel of Curiosities’ and was cleverly pulled together by both the theme, and a talented duo, a hotel porter, and his sidekick, a chambermaid.

The show opened with the arrival of all of the ‘guests’ at the hotel, which were the various performers that we were to see throughout. The ‘bell-boys’ then started the show with an impressive skipping routine which had everyone on the edge of their seats from the very start as they artfully, and seemingly effortlessly, performed more and more impressive tightly synchronised routines.

Next on stage was the glamorous trapeze artist, who swung through the air with poise and grace.

One of the most breathtaking acts in the whole show had to be the balancing act in which performers held up huge poles on their shoulders, which were scaled by others who climbed up and performed acrobatics at the top of the poles- the crowds in the auditorium watched in awed silence during this spectacle which involved such skill and strength.

The porter and the chambermaid characters, who appeared between every act, did a fantastic job of pulling the show together and keeping the audience entertained during set changes. They had us in the palms of their hands, providing laughter-filled interludes with high jinks and audience interaction. At one point, the whole audience was performing a clapping routine which kept children and adults’ full attention whilst the stage was set up with the paraphernalia for the next act.

The show lasts for 2 hours, with one 20 minute interval, and all of the acts were fantastic in their own right. The skill of the performers meant that each act held the audience’s full attention for the duration, and the diversity of content left the audience excited to see what was next! From a unicyclist whose balance and skill was incredible, to tightrope walkers who scaled the full height of the big-top to perform breathtaking acrobatics, we were all spellbound.

The show culminated with (for me) the highlight of the show, 2 huge double swings upon which a group of 6 performers executed breathtaking gymnastics as they launched themselves into the air, landing perfectly on the moving targets and working in unison for a seamless act.

The real magic of the circus is how it manages to fully engage both adults and children- the vintage glamour associated with the Gostinsta theme works perfectly to complement the magic of the show and the jaw-dropping acts. The skill and professionalism of the performers was bound together perfectly by an incredibly well choreographed show, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return the next time they are in town!

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