We took our two grandchildren down to the River Field last night to see the “Circus Mondao”.
I explained to the boys that it would be a small group of people who did many, many jobs.
The young lady who took our tickets on entry was the glamorous Ring Master.
The clown who sold electrical wands and spinning wheels was “Baz” a six foot + skinny Irishman who played the crowd extremely well.
The hot dog seller, the candy floss seller the ushers all had jobs in the ring and changed 3 or 4 times during the performance to put on either a show outfit or their working gear.
On entering the Big Top we were greeted by a sign in the ring stating, “Camel Rides £1.50” which appeared to be well subscribed to and at the interval the sign and 2 camels were duly brought out again for more eager riders.
The star of the show was undoubtedly the most talented entertainer I have ever seen under the stage name of “Vitalie”, a young man from Moldover, his real name being Petrick Alberto.
His true credentials are as a gymnast and he participated in the 1998 Olympics in Moscow.
He started off as a juggler, reappeared as a balancing act and just before the interval showed his trampoline skills, he then changed in seconds and sold popcorn in the interval, dropping the popcorn into its holder from a great height, a true entertainer.
Before the start and at half time were sales of tea, coffee pop, hot dogs, hamburgers and the essential candyfloss and popcorn.
The second half showed him and his “brother” in a fantastic hamster type double wheel-spinning act named “The Cloud Swing” in the top of the big top, speed, acrobatics, balance, the odd scripted slip, it had everything.
He then reappeared as a slick, black coated whip-cracking act cutting in half strips of paper held in the hands of his 3 young girl assistants and a flower from the mouth of another, loud and breathtaking.
At the end of the show the whole audience was invited to see the animals they had, at £1 a head, which the ringmaster stressed, was only to pay the cost of the food they ate.
There were of course the few animals we had seen performing, horses, pony, fan tailed pigeons and a dog.
Surprising to us all they also had, reindeer, llamas, camels, zebras, rabbits, pygmy goats and ducks all in spacious, clean and under cover stabling with plenty of food and water.
The whole troupe of maybe 14 or 15 worked their socks of in a great family show, showing twice an evening until Sunday.
A good few decades ago we saw in the same field, lions and tigers, elephants and bears all performing their well rehearsed death defying acts, they were all good and some were great but what the Circus Mondao lacked in wild animals it made up for in sheer hard work and dedication.
At great night out and well worth supporting to make sure that this, their fifth visit, will not be their last..