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Published on February 22nd, 2010 | by FoxeinSocks


Showtime Circus: A Cautionary Tale

I like the circus, the popcorn, the clowns, the girls spinning round, forty feet off the ground and not wearing much, at least that’s what I’ve found.

I’ve come to accept that they make their living charging ridiculous rates for refreshments and photos and the rest. So when my four year old came back from playschool brandishing his “ticket” for the circus I read the flyer/voucher and resigned myself to a show.

Circus Showtime has come to Dublin 15, they are six in number and they don’t have a tent or any trucks. They have instead a van and a hall in the local sports ground.The first half hour involved the single clown shaking hands with all the kids and playing musical chairs followed by a few more games where we watched our kids playing. Then we were introduced to the amazing Lisa and her doves, “The Fantail Fantasy”, she obviously had some talent and delighted the children with doves walking up and down things. There followed a masked magician trick, fairly good, if a little off the shelf, the amazing Lisa and her three pythons “The Snake Presentation”, which consisted of Lisa walking through the seats showing people the snakes, each snake.

While Lisa was lying down attempting the extremely dangerous “having some snakes on you trick” my wife told me it reminded her of Dusk till Dawn with Clooney and Quentin, I knew exactly what she meant, I thought “ this circus is so bad it’s more likely that they’re vampires than a serious act” and it felt like we’d been lured into something unpleasant.

At half time they informed us that souvenirs and raffle tickets would be available, raffle for quartz watch “retails at under eighty euro” we were told. Then to my horror they brought out armloads of blow up hammers and a giant bunch of those balloons with the elastic band on, they dumped these in the ring in front of all the kids and we sat there in silence (no music) as the seconds ticked by then it broke out and parents spent another five or ten euro on crap. We were also given the chance to be pictured with the tiger python, six only please, they let twelve people give them a fiver.

The second half was another trick by the magician and some spinning on a rope by Lisa, I forget, I was seething, they’d entertained my two year old, he even went into the ring. Great! But they’d promised me a circus, entry for an adult was fourteen euro, twelve with flyer and kids free, the popcorn was three euro for a small cone and the balloons and things three too, when the “show” ended they disappeared, no encore or bowing, not the actions of professional entertainers or any Circus I’ve ever seen. I felt I’d been ripped off.

I was mad because they’d dropped flyers into all the playschools. It obviously worked, there were loads of little kids there. I’m mad because my youngest loved it and the other one saw right through it. The thing that irked me the most was the distribution of flyers promoting a circus, which it wasn’t, to playschool kids.

Is there a body that regulates Circuses and similar acts? Do they care if cowboys bring them into disrepute? This show was worth maybe three euro each altogether.

It was better suited to a summer camp or even a birthday party.

Watch out for Circus Showtime coming to your vicinity soon.

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About the Author

30's, engineer, inventor, dreamer, Father , Husband, I like reading mostly sci-fi, making things out of metal or wood. drinking red wine, good with lego and wooden train track, handsome and witty too.

5 Responses to Showtime Circus: A Cautionary Tale

  1. Anto says:

    How were the flyers distributed to the kids? Via the playschool themselves (which would be an issue to address with them) or at the gates/entrance?

  2. Efa says:

    When I was young I got the same vouchers in the local shop, handed out on the street, dropped into the school. We were just bombarded with the leaflets. The show was in the local community centre and expensive when you have 4 kids. It was extremely poor.
    I won the “expensive” watches when on 2 occasions. They were cheap digital plastic watches. They came around every 2-3 years.

  3. FoxeinSocks says:

    Teacher gave the kids the vouchers, don’t know where she got them,yet. We wouldn’t have minded so much if she put it in his bag but he was brandishing it like a golden ticket so she’d obviously promoted the idea.
    I got them as a kid too but we rarely went.

  4. Anto says:

    @FoxeinSocks: I’d have a word to the teacher so, that type of commercial endorsement shouldn’t be going on with kids that young. When I was growing up we’d get the same flyers in primary school but there wouldn’t be as much of an expectation of going to things as I believe there is now.

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