Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Circus - La Cirque est Roi...

Here in Corsica, circuses are really popular, and during the summer there is one nearly every week. I am just like a kid when the circus comes to town and have been a number of times, but the French and Italian circus companies still feature live animals so I am always torn between a desire to see these beautiful creatures up close, and a slight revulsion that they are made to perform.

The posters and huge plastic animals outside promised big things, but unlike the last circus we went to where we saw camels, dancing ponies, elephants and white lions, there seemed to be just three ponies and a donkey grazing under the trees. Fortunately, the kids didn’t mind, and the fact that there was an 8 year old clown – not much older than most of the audience – seemed to amuse them even more. They opened the show by announcing that they were a family circus and were not going to tell us that they would show us anything that we hadn't seen before - not exactly a good start!

Luckily some balancing acts, a mini acrobat and a bit of yummy popcorn were all we needed for a fun evening out, so it really didn’t matter. Actually, it was quite bad but almost so bad that it was good, with only 3-4 people fulfilling all the roles, and thinking that a change of name and costume would fool us. Plus I am sure the horse was giving me the evil eye so every time it came near our bit of the barrier I had to fight the urge to run away!

The show lasted nearly 2 hours, so no mean feat for such a small circus company, and afterwards we fed the pony with some stale bread. Tonight was the last night so personally, I was just relieved that I won’t have to listen to the promotion vans passing by anymore – two or three choruses of ‘Volare, oh oh, Cantare, oh oh oh oh’ is probably more than enough for any sane person to bear!

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