Giffords Circus Avalon

Reviewer's Rating

Giffords Circus: Avalon in summary is one family bringing joy to many others. With classic circus acts demonstrating brute strength and impressive aerial gymnastics – there is much to see here. Themed in King Arthur’s medieval world, one can find magic, animal tricks and the most terrific live band.

The show starts with Merlin (Maximiliano Stia) and Cuthbert (Tyler West), a dynamic duo that are seemingly on hosting duties. Both rather funny, with Merlin also doubling as the show’s magician. He displays some impressive tricks – but seemingly rather short and could do with more! Cuthbert had great stage presence and a good ability to engage with the audience, however the plot surrounding his character wanting to be a knight of the round table was arguably unnecessary.

Some excellent performances from the likes of King Arthur (Nick Hodge) on the cyr wheel; brother and sister act Dylan & Asia Medini (as Sir Lancelot and Lady Morgan le Fay) who demonstrated impressive skills characteristic to that of traditional circus performers; and other gifted acrobats. Of course, any of the performances are highly complex and impossible to your average person – thus making this show akin to that of other circuses. The sophistication when it comes to the level of acrobatic capabilities is mind boggling. However, some performances could’ve been enhanced with better lighting. Additionally, the humour from Merlin and Cuthbert almost overshadowed the performers, taking up too much stage time.

A more unique aspect to this show is the feature of animals, namely a horse and four dogs. Both provided some cuteness, bound to be a favourite amongst children. The horse twirls, the dogs jump – it’s a wholesome experience.

The standout feature, unique to this circus is the live band “Gwennie and the Jets”. Rather Shrek themed in ways, the music was fun and there was a long list of instruments used to create a exceptional sound. Guinevere (Nell O’hara) leads with a lovely voice that pairs well with different well-known songs, even from the likes Black Sabbath. With such talent, and well paired musicians, one could easily just watch them as a show by itself.

Compared to other circuses, however, Giffords isn’t the most jaw-dropping. Despite the undeniable talent and experience of the performers – with some coming from a long line of circus families – the bar nowadays is higher. However, thematic experience as a whole will certainly bring a family day of fun.

Writer & Director: Cal McCrystal

Associate Director: Stuart Winter

Musical Director: James Keay

Cast includes: Maximiliano Stia, Nell O’hara, Tyler West, Nick Hodge

Venue: Chiswick House and Gardens

UK Tour until Sunday 29th September

Review by Sofia Moran