There’s something magical about the circus.
Kids today are inundated with entertainment, in the form of games consoles, TV, cinema and theatre shows. But sitting in the Big Top tops them all.
Perhaps its the element of the exotic or the unknown. Perhaps it’s the fact that they set-up camp so fleetingly – arriving and departing on the summer breeze.
Most likely it’s the nostalgia of a good-old fashioned travelling show and it’s place in fairytales and folklore.
Whatever its appeal, the circus is something that all children should see. And next week a new circus comes to town.
It’s not that the circus itself is new (it’s been going since 1948), but it’s the first time it has visited Portsmouth.
The Netherlands National Circus is here from Tuesday until Sunday, June 5, taking up residence on Southsea Common for a Bank Holiday extravaganza.
It comes to us direct from Brighton, where it has been wowing crowds at the Fringe Festival.
There are no animals in this circus troupe, but plenty of acrobats, aerialists, trapeze artists, barre artists, jugglers, clowns and a live band.
The show features skilled and daring performers from Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Hungary and of course Holland. And highlights include the Flying Neves from Brazil (and their incredible triple somersault), springboard acrobats from Hungary and the trio Bokafi.
Although the circus is a British invention, it has always enjoyed a much higher artistic status in Europe.
In fact, the European Parliament recently voted to support the traditional circus as ‘an important part of European culture’.
Circus spokesman Chris Barltrop says: ‘This Circus is from Holland, but the circus is close to people’s hearts everywhere.
‘It’s marvellous to be on tour here with such a special show.
‘We’re helping families fight back against the cost of living. Seat prices are competitive, and travel costs are low because we come to you!’
Tickets cost £10 to £24 from the box office which is open daily on site from 10am until 8pm. Alternatively, you can book over the phone on 0844 415 5228.
There is discount of £3 for tickets booked in advance online at netherlandscircus.eu.
Performances are at 4.45pm and 7.30pm from Tuesday to Friday next week. On Saturday, May 28, they are at 2pm, 4.45pm and 7.30pm. On Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, May 29 and 30, they are at 2pm and 5pm. Finally, from Tuesday, May 31, to Saturday, June 4, performances are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.