Royal Botanical Gardens
16- 22 August, 13.00

Acres of SkillI really wish I could have enjoyed this show, and blame the poor rating on the forced change of venue due to the weather, but I found myself flinching so much that I had to leave it prematurely.

On this occasion, the show was for the sadistic: watching children attempting to unicycle, walk along a tightrope and dance on stilts before falling over/off, then being barked at to do it again by their instructor was uncomfortable viewing to say the least. I don’t quite know whether these were professional circus children, children interested in circus skills, or just children who’d been victimized.

At times the troupe was engaging and skillful: simultaneously hula hooping two hoops (one on the finger and one around the waist) whilst balanced on top of a ball is a remarkable feat by any standard. And fantastic to watch. Moments like this gave the show its sparkle and highlighted the energy and flair of the performers. Indeed, one gentleman leapt easily over his comrades on his hands, while another, skipped on a skipping rope inside a larger skipping rope whilst balanced on a unicycle.

This event should have showcased what the undoubtedly talented children could do rather than forcing them that bit too far beyond their levels of achievement. Wee children will no doubt be enthralled by the bizarre skills and bright cowboy/girl outfits. 2 stars for a circus themed kids show, 4 stars for sadistic adults seeking cheap thrills from a bearded ringmaster who was only missing a whip.

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