Zippo's Circus in Brighton - with performing cats!
Last month I wrote about a visit to the little Zippo's Circus on Hastings Pier, and the post was picked up by Zippo's. They said that if I wanted to see a full-scale traditional circus, with animals in, to come to their show in Brighton. When I saw they had performing cats, that was it. I rounded up Philosopher and off we went.
Firstly, sorry about the quality of the photographs - cameras are never any good with those lights...
The show was excellent - very fast paced, daring, high quality acts, and wonderfully traditional, including a knife thrower who looked alarmingly like Benny Hill. Philosopher could not watch him at all. I could scarcely watch a man running and jumping on the top of a wheel up near the ceiling, with stilts on, blindfolded - what a way to earn a living. Maybe I'd prefer to be this girl in a jar....
|Bit of a squash in there....|
|Selling popcorn a moment ago....|
Sadly, there were no beautiful galloping Liberty Horses with nodding plumes. [Zippo's - are there any Liberty Horse acts left?] We saw two heavy horses with the bareback trick riding act. The horses seemed bulkier and more thick-necked than the rosinback horses I remember from my childhood, but again, the men jumping around on their backs were also bigger and heavier. The horses clearly were not bothered by the riders, but disliked the tight fixed reins necessary to keep them to an ordered trot round the ring. I could see quite a bit of mouthing and eye-rolling. These are powerful horses bred for hard work. Maybe they need more exercise to quieten them down before coming into the ring? However, the reins were kept on for short periods only, so I couldn't get too worked up about it.
|Two heavy horses...|
|for trick riding...|
|Snoozing in the sun|
The cats looked fine. They all had their tails well up and seemed unfazed by the noise and the lights. Only trouble was, act was a bit short.
|Over too fast....|
|I'm only here for the grub....|
|Just hang on while I have a snack....|
I think, however, he is a little too spoilt - and portly - to be a circus cat. That pole would probably snap if he climbed up it. I can't see myself in the obligatory spangled leotard either, never mind selling the popcorn in the interval, dears.
|Digby learns to 'ask' for a treat|
|But actually, one pities those who have to work for a living....|