Zippos circus - 2008
The English circus – Zippos celebrates in this season Spain. Therefore the whole performance stands in the name of Spain when we are talking artists, style and costumes. Also a great range of the artists are from Spain or at least the new reprise clown and the Nicol family performing three acts in the performance. Most circuses in England has no animals in the program but Zippos still performs horses and they are very nice as well. It is allowed to perform most animals in England but a very strong group of animal activists has forced the animals out of the program around in England. Also outside this performance there was a small group of activists trying to convince the guest to find other circuses not performing animals. They did not succeed because the tent was very well filled with spectators. By the way the activists went home when the rain came for a few minutes and they wasn't seen for the next performance at all.
The show was started by the Spanish reprise clown Pepino getting dressed and doing his mask in the ring. Not a new idea and sometimes it takes to long. Anyway Pepino was fast so it was not a long boring experience. Pepino was in the ring many times through the performance and he is a great clown and never to much. His interplay with ringmaster Norman Barrett was in a very high class. Maybe there was a lot of old material as – You can’t play here, in his work but he did it well. One of the best reprises was when Pepino found the remote control to everything in circus. Now he could control the light, music but best of all the ringmaster Norman Barrett. It is Pepinos first time in an English circus and I´m sure he will amuse most of the spectators.
Marina was second in the ring performing a classic hoola hop entrée. I’m not so thrilled by those acts because normally they are boring. But the latest years I have seen a few done in a nice level and Marina is one of them. Marina looks good but in my opinion it is a act nice because of the tempo and very modern musical sound. The music is with a very deep bass rhythm, witch always goes in the heart. Nice to see the spectators rocking there bodies when they see a beautiful woman, hear a banking beat and a an act in a very nice level. Marina was a part of the Swedish circus Skratt and later in circus BonBon in Denmark in the 2007 season.
Kristina Roberts entered the ring dressed in Spanish clothes doing a little dance together with the circus ballet. Kristina Roberts is daughter of Tom Roberts there is in charge of the horses in Zippos. Small girls performs small horses and three beautiful Palmino ponies entered the ring. Very nice little horse act performed by a very charming young lady.
Michael Olivares is a part of the Spanish Nicol family. Michael is a juggler in a very nice level. He was a part of the Danish circus Dannebrog in the 2007 season where he performed his juggling as well. I think that Oliver has improved a lot since last season because in my opinion he was more styled here in Zippos. He is a great juggler no doubt but I think the tempo was better here in Zippos. His style was better here where his clothes was Spanish and in Dannbebrog he was dressed as a pirate. Michael juggles almost everything , clubs, balls, rings and even table tennis balls - nice
The Pupsiki covers over Marina and Ivo performing their blown up couple act. The act was also a part of the Swedish Skratt and BonBon in the last season. The act is not new and is done by several artists in Europe. It is possible to do the most crazy thing is those blown up dresses and Ivo and Marina doses it well. Again there is nice music behind the act and the entree seems young and modern. When they performed in Denmark they were called bubble gum.
Norman Barrett is an institution in European circus. He is a fantastic ring master doing his job very very well. He has his own act where he performs budgerigar birds – a very unusual entrée indeed. In this season Norman celebrates his 60 years anniversary – many many years in the business and with a long circus history behind. His experience and professional way doing his job is more than great. The act was changed a little compared to the act I saw last year. The birds are naughty, funny and very well trained by Norman.
Pepino was in the ring next and showed us, that he can more than being funny. Here he presented a short funny trampoline act. The act was build up with the trampoline as a swimming pool – a very common way to present those kinds of acts. Skilful jumping with a nice tempo.
Robert Foxall is an English Aerial gymnastic artist. He is a very nice artist when he flyes over the spectators as a bird in his aerial straps. A nice young artist with a lot of skills. Robert ended the first part of the performance.
The opeming after the break was the Spanish low wire artist Nicol Nicols. He is indeed a great wire artist, doing the most including the forward and the backward summersault. In my opinion is Nicol Nicols one of the greatest low wire artists in Europe. He seem so secure and he enters the ring to furious Spanish music with a lot of attitude. Nicol was also a part of the Danish circus Dannebrog in the 2007 season.
Ivo was in the ring with a single dog act. But what a dog – because this dog got it all. Very charming and in a very nice atmosphere the German artist Ivo works himself through a very positive act. This act was also a part of the Swedish circus Skratt and the Danish circus BonBon in 2007. Futhermore the couple has been a part of the Danish circus Arli a few years back where they performed a hoola hop, blown up couple and this particular dog act.
Tom Roberts performs the four very beautiful Palmino horses. In a very easy and smooth style the horses works themselves through the act. Not many words from their trainer Tom Roberts, just showing us how well trained his animals are. The horses looks very well looked after. Some of the animal activists accused Zippos circus to lock up those horses in very small stables – but so far I could see there was a big field behind the tent where the animals had all the room they needed. By the way the stables were very nice, clean and with plenty of room.
Nicol clowns was in charge of the entré clown part here in Zippos. The exact same act as we could see in the Danish circus Dannebrog in 2007. They opend with a musical part where the clowns enters the ring. The rest is the old entré – the boxing machine. The whole thing ended with one more tune on the instruments.
The Pirates of the Spanish main ended this show with a little strange combination. It was announced as an aerial fantasy. There was two girls doing two different things under the big top – one doing a swing in a fishing net and another doing a vertical rope act. They were dressed very different one in red and one in a white costume. The entrée was a little confusing but with ok. Artists.
The show was ended by a parade.
Zippos is mainly touring around London and for guests visiting this town it is a great opportunity to gain experience with the English circus traditions. London is a very big city and it can be a little hard to find Zippos in one of hundreds suburbs placed around the English capital.
The performance is absolutely a nice experience but a little warning – please don’t leave your seats in the break because if you do, don´t expect to get your chair back if you have a front seat. Mine was occupied with smiling kids, very satisfied with their new sight.
There was a circus ballet included in the show but no live circus band. When I visited Zippos first time in 2007 the sound wasn’t great but it seems as director Martin Burton has improved the speakers very much. The sound was clear and very loud witch is great.
Lots of humour in the performance and lots of eye candy but a thrilling act was missing. Bet in the performance was Tom Roberts, Norman Barrett and Nicol Nicols. The catering was ok and the price level was low (one pound for a Coke – 10 Danish kroner). It was possible to buy an updated souvenir program, a DVD and some other circus related collectors items.