Friday, 20 May 2016

Gifford Circus - The Painted Wagon

We have said for sometime now that the spectacle creeps into your bones and makes a little home there. In fact we would go as far to say we would arrogantly consider ourselves part of the family. We have missed them all year and have eagerly awaited our reunion with them since attending Moon Songs in May 2015 and last night they finally arrived.

That's right folks, Gifford Circus is back, and things are about to get wild.

In this years plot we were transported to the wild wild west where the Dodge City Orchestra provided a soundtrack of honky tonk classics, complete with harmonica, banjo and enough fringing to last a lifetime.

After the impressive looking painted wagon arrived on stage we followed the trail of cowboys, buffalo and bison with the Ethiopian Konjowoch Troupe who told the tale of love and jealousy through impressive acrobatics.  
As El-Gifford (still wanted) fled Dodge city, The Sheriff arrived on little silver bullet the donkey, arguably the biggest laugh of the night, swiftly followed by awwww and ahhhhs from the audience and of course a spontaneous yee-haaa here and there. It's difficult to say that any act stole the show this year as our jaws were aching from laughing throughout, however the Chinese pole acrobatics  of the Konjowock troupe was an absolute highlight.

We were pleased to see purely purdy ring mistress, Nancy Trotter Landry return as Sasparilla Sal, who's perfect comedy timing and facial expressions alone got us roaring. Sarsaparilla Sal and Handsome Eddie, the front man of Dodge City Orchestra provided a comedic love story through song. As avid fans of Calamity Jane we nearly fell off our seats when we were encouraged to join in, in a Whip crack away sing along. Life is complete!

Everyone's favourite Cotswold clown was back this year with his unpredictable slapstick comedy and more audience participation that ever. His hopin' mad comedy routines complete with a pet racoon and the infamous Keith (you have to go to find out what this is!) will have you crying with laughter. You even get a cheeky flash when he shucks his chaps, cover your eyes kids.

Of course there was the return of Gifford's juggling icons, Bibi and Bichu who we have started a little love affair with. Meg was particulary pleased to get to dance with Bichu at the end of the show barn dance jamboree as Millie was getting flung around by a member of the Konjowoch troup. We were so startstruck by meeting Bichu in the interval that Millie told him she "liked his trousers" #epicfail

(Photo credit The Cotswolds Gent)

We were spoilt to dinner after the show in the enchanted Gifford's pop up restaurant Circus Sauce. For us it's as special as the show itself and definitely a must, not only is the food delicious, the whole team are brilliant and the atmosphere is magical, like no other dining experience in The Cotswolds. On the menu was confit pork calcannon with truffle cream, a starter of salmon ceviche with rye crackers and nettles, followed by lamb hot pot with pickled red cabbage and spring greens and the finale, custard tart to die for with a cinnamon donut, all washed down with Bottle Green drinks and delicious When In Rome wine. Circus Sauce trumpet local suppliers and in season ingredients to create their ever changing menu, what these guys can do out of their teeny travelling kitchen is incredible, all with lashings of style too, we loved the in keeping red cowboy boots! Not only can chefs Ollie, Dave and Joe cook (and seriously cook!), they're also equally entertaining with their hilarious mid-meal show... Millie was actually pulled up to participate in a sing-along with The Kitchenette's this year. Brilliant!

You can probably see form our photos that we spent the whole evening beaming with excitement, so much so we woke up the next morning with face ache from all the laughter. 

We MUST have sold it to you by now but just incase here's a few more spoilers include dosey doing horses, a calamity Jane singalong, jugglers extroadairs and lets face itm any show that opens with a performing chicken must seal the deal!
So it is last chance Saloon readers. Tickets are selling fast and you shouldn't miss out. Not a fan of the circus? We can guarantee you will change your mind. Remaining stubborn on this one? Book yourself into Circus Sauce, the ONLY travelling restaurant in the UK.

Top tips for Giffords:

Take a picnic for before the show and soak up the atmosphere.
Order a homemade rustic Gifford's pizza for during the interval.
Buy an Emma Bridgewater Gifford's mug (Emma is Nell's sister)
Request a shout out for after the interval if you are there for a special occasion
Sit on the front row if you want to get involved
Get up and dance at the end, you won't regret it!
Book circus sauce now...seriously stop reading and book...BOOK!

Millie and Meg x


To book tickets 

The Following events for 2016 are also on sale now...

Sudeley Castle (Thursday 19 - Tuesday 31 May)

Circus Sauce, Sudeley Castle

Daylesford Organic Farm (Friday 3 - Monday 6 June)

Circus Sauce, Daylesford Organic Farm

Blenheim Palace (Thursday 9 - Monday 13 June)

Circus Sauce, Blenheim Palace

Oxford University Parks (Thursday 16 - Monday 27 June)

Circus Sauce, Oxford University Parks

Chiswick House & Gardens (Thursday 30 June - Monday 18 July)

Circus Sauce, Chiswick House & Gardens

Barrington (Thursday 21 July - Monday 1 August)

Circus Sauce, Barrington

Frampton on Severn (Thursday 4 - Monday 8 August)

Circus Sauce, Frampton on Severn

Minchinhampton (Thursday 11 - Monday 22 August)

Circus Sauce, Minchinhampton

Marlborough Common (Thursday 25 August - Monday 5 September)

Circus Sauce, Marlborough Common

Cirencester (Thursday 8 - Monday 19 September)

Circus Sauce, Cirencester

Fennells Farm (Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 September)

Circus Sauce, Fennells Farm

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