Astonishing feats will keep you on the edge of your seat

The Chinese State Circus will be in Fareham next week
The Chinese State Circus will be in Fareham next week

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Spring is circus season and, after visits from Circus Wonderland and Gerry Cottle’s Circus and Magic in the past month, now comes the turn of the Chinese State Circus.

This circus comes to Ferneham Hall in Fareham for the first time from Thursday to Saturday on a brand new tour for 2012.

The Fareham tour dates will mark the first UK appearance of a Shaolin Warrior known as The One.

Alongside his terrifying display of poise and power, the new show also offers an extravaganza of Eastern entertainment, including the sorts of agile acrobatic displays that the circus was first founded on 20 years ago.

Acrobatics is a traditional art form in China and can trace its history back more than 2,000 years.

The Chinese State Circus was founded after director Phillip Gandey saw a group of oriental acrobats performing to great acclaim at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival in the 1990s.

He was astounded at the quality and diversity of the Chinese acrobatic troupes and, after working out the logistics of transporting 45 artistes, plus directors, interpreters and five tonnes of props, he began the circus.

Now, in 2012, its latest show is called Yin Yang, the Chinese word for ‘balance’.

It is so named because it not only keeps the audience on the edge of their seats with astonishing feats, but because it also shows the delicate and beautiful side of Chinese tradition with a silk aerial act, parasol juggling, an eye-catching lion dance and a bicycle act, in which 10 talented artistes manoeuvre on to a single bicycle.

Plus, there will be foot juggling with drums, Chinese poles, a contortionist and hoop divers, as well as colourful sets and costumes.

The acts flow along with a narrative, accompanied by an all-girl group of live musicians, making for an action-packed and entertaining programme.

Performances are as follows: Thursday, April 26, 8pm; Friday 27 5pm and 8pm; and Saturday 28 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £22.50 for adults, £17.50 for under 16s and over 60s, £19.50 for Fareham Leisure Card holders or £63 for a family of two adults and two children.

Book by calling 01329 231942 or online at fernehamhall.co.uk