Tom Duffy's Circus- The greatest show? | The Northern Irish Mum

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Tom Duffy's Circus- The greatest show?

Last night I took "babs" for her first visit to Tom Duffy's Circus. She was totally beside herself with excitement in the car. She just couldn't wait and she actually squealed when she caught the first glimpse of the big tent on the hill. She literally skipped into the field towards the tent, she was so excited. Taking in every little detail and commenting on them to me. The lights at the box office, the illustrations adoring the lorries & vans, the colour of the outside of the tent, the uniforms the duffys crew had on.  You name it she noticed it. She pointed out even the tiniest details to me, she was just taking it all in. She gasped when the tent curtain went up & we walked in. And that just made my heart so happy! It was so lovely seeing her react with the same amazement, I remember feeling when I was her age going into Duffy's circus tent.

Having not been to the Circus in about ten years or more, I was unsure how it would live up to my memories of it. Duffys Circus was always one of the highlights of my summers growing up. The tent would appear as if by magic in the fields across from our house, for a few days each summer. I remember playing in the garden on the swing set, pretending to be a trapeze artist, whilst we listened to the music drifting out across the field from the big top. When I was little the circus seemed like such a magical awe inspiring place and to be honest I was a little bit apprehensive whether "babs" would come away with the same feelings or would she and I both be disappointed?
We took our seats .. (I had pre-purchased tickets online, which was so handy. Arrived early no real queue's, we just walked up to ticket office and handed over the reference number & got the tickets. We bought seats in the grandstand, and being early had the pick of seats. Nothing really obstructed our view, where we were sat (middle seats right at the back of the left hand grandstand). We had a little discount ticket, she had brought home from school, which gave her a free ticket when an adult ticket was purchased. I think there are a number of different discounts running at different times throughout their shows, so worth checking out local newspapers and having a wee look on their facebook page for those.  Especially if you have a couple of kids with you.).. We had about half hour to wait before it started, which gave "babs" ample time to have a good look around her before the show began. She also of course had to make a little trip to the circus shop for candy floss and bought a little flashing light being sold by the crew walking around. Both of which I was pleasantly surprised to find, were really reasonably priced. Likewise everything was so fresh looking, the tent, the lighting, the seating etc.  Before the show had even started "babs" declared it was the best night ever!

So onto the show! The last Duffy's show I had seen they still had tigers as part of the acts, which as a child, used to amaze & terrify me in equal measure! But with adjusting times, attitudes (my own included) and new laws around animals in circus's, the tigers and other "exotic" animals are no longer part of their shows.  They do however still have some animals including beautiful  ponies & horses and a gorgeous array of dogs. All of which looked to me to be healthy & happy whilst in the ring (They also were not out for long periods either, just short routines, which the audience seemed to enjoy). Babs favourite animal was actually the teeny tinest poodle who ran around the outside of the ring jumping tiny little fences. So cute! 

The show is so much more than animals though. There's a brilliant variety of performances, from the  duffy brothers in the  wheel of death, which was amazing, heart in the mouth, are they crazy?! Type performance. To the clowns, who were really funny & I loved that they were not intimidating at all. Years ago I remember being a bit afraid of the circus clowns but "babs" wasn't, she laughed along & even when the clown came up beside us she wasn't even slightly worried. There are also various aerial artists, which are always my favourite to watch. I loved that one girl did a routine with instrumental music from the greatest showman! And there were a group of female aerial artists on a globe type rig which "babs" loved and a fantastic troupe from Brazil I think, on trapeze's, who were just amazing. The kenyan boys were super entertaining and had everyone dancing along. There was also a glow dazzle act with lights, which had all the kids raving it up with the circus glow lights (which at £5 each actually was a heck of alot cheaper than I expected to pay for them, having seen similar on sale at disney on ice performances for £15+). These plus the other acts overall provided a great fun family orientated show!

In this day and age with technology & tv and gaming etc I did wonder if the Circus would feel "outdated" not as exciting or entertaining anymore?  But I was wrong. The whole circus is more than just a show, but a real immersive experience. A mix of childhood nostalgia, good old fashioned fun, but also a show that is modern and exciting. "Babs" had the  best time ever! She has been bitten by the magic of the circus, (she actually asked to just drive past the circus this evening one more time before it leaves, which we did). We will definitely be back next year when the Circus rolls back into town and I'd highly recommend seeing the show if it is in a town near you this summer.

*This is not in collaboration or sponsored by duffys, we purchased our own tickets* Just my honest opinions on a great family show.
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