I’ve got to admit, when I booked tickets for the Big Kid Circus as a surprise for our 4 year old, I was ridiculously excited! It feels like life is slowly returning to normal, and although we’ve had fun exploring the wilds of Gateshead in recent months, I was looking forward to something a bit different. And it certainly didn’t disappoint!
The theme of the show this year is Cirque De Cuba – a carnival of colour and joy with the spirit and vibe of Cuban culture, including amazingly talented artists direct from Cuba.
On arrival, we entered the tent to the mouth-watering smell of popcorn. Snacks and treats were available, including candy floss, toffee apples, hotdogs, slushes and more. Staff were wearing face coverings, bottles of hand sanitisers were placed at strategic points, and staff are doing enhanced cleaning throughout the day. Social distancing measures were in place, with a one-way system and reduced audience capacity of around 300 (down from around 1,000). Alternate rows had been removed from the tiered seating, so it felt really roomy – which was a bonus for a friend who can often get a bit claustrophobic at this sort of thing! As we waited for the show to begin, there were regular announcements about the measures in place, reminding everyone that masks are mandatory (children under 11 are exempt). Despite this it felt very relaxed and normal, with kids enjoying the glow in the dark toys on offer while waiting.
The show began and we were instantly hooked. There was a fantastic mix of incredible acrobatics, slap-stick comedy, dancing and mesmorising holographic animals.
The acrobatic stunts have to be seen to be believed! There was plenty of variety to show off the teams’ skills and keep the audience enthralled, with jump ropes, rollerskating, balancing and tumbling, and airborne acrobatics on the ring and ribbons. You could feel the tension mount in the audience during the daredevil stunts, especially when the ‘human catapult’ was set up! I found myself holding my breath more than once!
My 4 year old got well into the spirit of it all, clapping along and shouting out (LOUDLY🤣) in excitement, along with plenty of big belly laughs at the antics of the Clown Papeluxo – especially during the boxing match and at the toilet humour of the crying baby (be prepared to get wet if you sit near the front!!). The dynamic between the cheeky clown and the strict Ring Mistress Olympia was great to watch, and had the audience shouting out encouragement.
There was a complete change of pace when the mesh curtain came down and the 3D holographic animal display began, with safari, birds and butterflies, and ocean themes. It was very serene and beautiful, watching whales and dolphins gliding through the water, and staring into the eyes of a tiger. My little one was delighted at being ‘chomped by a shark!!’
It was great fun for young and old, and excellent value at £7.99 per person. NHS badge holders are free, as well as children under 2 years sitting on a knee (I decided against taking our 2 year old, who won’t sit still for 5 minutes and loves a good tantrum🤣 but there were plenty of toddlers who certainly seemed to be enjoying it). I’d highly recommend catching the show at Blaydon Rugby Club, from 18th – 23rd August. Find out more here.
📅 5th – 16th August (excluding 13th August) 📌 Wheathall farm, Whitburn, South Tyneside, SR6 7EU