Giffords Circus Summer Newsletter

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Today’s blog post comes with kind permission from the team at Giffords Circus. Taken from the circus’s founder, Nell Gifford’s summer newsletter, you’ll find out about all their exciting news. JoJo founder Laura Tenison is a huge fan of Giffords Circus and highly recommends it. And with only a few more weeks left of the Thunders Tour, make sure you catch them while you can.

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I am writing this from the little office wagon on the circus ground in Minchinhampton. I can hear the church bells ringing, the band playing and the crowd laughing, as well as the sound of the generator whirring, children giggling, Brian the goose honking and dogs barking. These are the sounds of the circus in the day time, and it is a non stop cacophony, which at night is turned down a little, but the barks, the noise of the horses in their stables, the occasional voice, a car coming and going – it never stops.  It is pouring with rain today, one of the only wet days this season, and this creates a sort of sonic hum all over the site so that the sound of the band in the tent, which determines our every move and which is the cue system for every performer and front of house and crew member in the circus, is slightly obscured. There are six weekends left of this season and the 2014 tour The Thunders. We have been playing to packed crowds and have had great reviews, including this recent one written by Susannah Clapp in The Observer:

I think that the tent interior looks beautiful. The inky blue lining covers all the inside so that daylight is shut out and the tent becomes a magical complete space out of time and place. The olive trees and painted clouds are lit by flickering candles and the band seem to float in their togas, their faces shining. I love it in the tent and for the first time I feel that it is almost a complete and perfect picture.

We are moving the circus headquarters from Folly Farm to Fennells Farm near Stroud. We are all excited about this move. Folly Farm has been a perfect winter home for the circus from 2003 when we moved there but we have outgrown it and have been looking for a new farm for a few years. Fennells Farm is on the edge of Stroud and it feels like home already. Ancient trees, plenty of barns and sheltered fields for the horses during the winter.  We are moving there after Cirencester and will be doing a weekend of shows in the front fields from the 18th to the 21st of September. These are the show times:

Thursday 18th  6pm
Friday 19th   6pm
Saturday 20th   10am, 4pm, 7pm
Sunday 21st   11.30am, 2.30pm, 5pm

In 2013 we dedicated our tour programme to the Syrian village of Deir Ba’alba.  I read an article in which the journalist, AA Gill, visited a refugee camp in Jordan and a man approached him and asked him to name his village, this village Deir Ba’alba, because every single person in the village, every family, every child, had been killed, so that the village essentially did not exist any more.  On the 20th September the 7pm show at Fennells will be in aid of the UNHCR. The money raised at that show will be given to them to help their work with the refugee crisis. Please try and come to this show – it is also a kind of house warming celebration of Giffords Circus arriving at Fennells Farm, with a hog roast afterwards.

See you there!

Nell Gifford

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