HARRIET: CIRC DE SO-LAME
In search of bacon filled, melted cheese foot-long fest accompanied by roller-coaster ride run by Scandinavian mice? Then look no further than the meat market Christmas experience that is Winter Wonderland. Every other wooden shack offers you a larger sausage than the last; a zip wire (famously strained by Boris Johnson) hangs limpless over head.
The lure of a big top beckons us through hoards of tourists. “Britain’s BEST circus” Zippo circus claims. A novelty pair of ears and a dodgy microphone starts the show, a 20 minute water spitting fight follows suit. I peer round the dumbstuck faces of the 100 or so children, they are as lost as I am. At one point the elf starts chocking, that warrants a sympathetic giggle. Another elf, meanwhile, attempts the zip wire (albeit one could be forgiven for thinking it must have been her first day on the job). Butter-feet, skirt tucked into knickers, juggling balls missing the point and a near fatal slip inhabit the first half of the performance.
A pair of second hand silk curtains are tied to a pulley, an elderly couple of elves in leotards cling on with dear life as they are flung around the tent like flying corpses. My friend next to me shudders “She shouldn’t be doing that, it looks like she has rigamortis.”. Nice.
A rickety mechanical object is then hung from the tent. Imagine two hamster wheels joined by a stainless steel climbing frame. Two Acrobats climb into the opposing wheels as its turns vertically 180 degrees. The acrobat’s sweat is glistening as his head is put in a black bag. Blindfolded he ascends the dangerous object. Clearly health and safety standards we are used to are put to shame in the big top, its quite overwhelming.
Overall it’s less Circ du Soleil and more Circ De So-Lame.