Chiswick House and Gardens
6th to 23rd June 2024

“A galaxy of international circus stars has been assembled for the Giffords Circus 2024 tour, Avalon.

This year’s show is set in the colourful medieval world of pageantry and Arthurian legend, and features dazzling circus acts from across the globe in the roles of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, knights Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawain, Lady Morgan le Fay, The Lady of Shalott, and Merlin the Magician.

Featuring lavish period costumes and a magical set designed by award winning international acclaimed performance designer takis, whose innovative and diverse body of work encompasses West End, opera and leading UK theatre and who has been nominated for over 20 major awards including Olivier awards, international opera awards and Whatsonstage awards.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

Taking the traditional circus on the road has always been a euphemism for everything being large and of many parts. Well this is Gifford’s and the circus has well and truly come to town!

Managing to stay looking very traditional, there’s still the big top and inside scaff pipes ratchet strapped to the seating bleachers to hang lights on, but they’ve replaced the lights with more modern movers and made an extremely colourful design that does credit to the brilliant set design for the show.

There’re plenty of front of house staff and concessionary caravan-style stands for your bar, ice cream and hot dogs. The band is huge, the cast are plentiful and there’s live singing. All in all, it’s very traditional and very grand.

Each act is wonderful. Short and to the point. There’s the hula hoops, the fire-eating, the jugglers, the Cyr wheel and the acrobats. With a single-purchase motorised aerial point, a hoop and a corde-de-ligne, along with the lifting up of the illusion box. Their style is the “trick, present, milk the audience for claps” but all done speedily and not too often that it wears thin. I even liked the comedy!

The highlight of the show is the brother-sister act. Asia and Dylan Medini from an Italian circus family genuinely seem to enjoy dicing with their lives. First, Dylan has a balance act on a balance board that’s up in the air on a podium with various unstable objects to balance on. And then he does a roller-skating act while flinging his sister around using hand-holds, wrist and neck straps. Just terrifying.

So why haven’t I given this circus 5 Stars? Well it all comes down to having a pony act in the show. I just don’t like seeing an animal running ahead of a whip held by it’s owner. And to get the pony to weave in and out a 2nd whip is brought out and held by an older man on the other side of the ring. I really considered leaving the show at this point. I’m glad I didn’t, but I really don’t want to see such acts.

And let’s be honest, there is already a muscled handsome Italian show-pony in this circus named Dylan Medini! You don’t need any others!

The dog act had a totally different atmosphere. Four very happy and excited dogs running around and navigating obstacles and clearly having the time of their lives.

I did wonder if the show needed more choreography – and then we got to finale! Wowzer! A palatial formal ball dance started which then morphed into the Gay Gordons, which became line dancing and then they all joined in! It was spectacular! Just brilliantly embracing the Knights of the Round Table theme for this year’s circus.

The full list of Artistes performing in Giffords Circus AVALON:

Maximiliano Stia – Merlin the Magician
Nell O’Hara – Queen Guinevere
Tyler West – Cuthbert
Nick Hodge – King Arthur
Dylan Medini – Sir Lancelot
Asia Medini – Lady Morgan le Fay
Patrick Harrison – Sir Dagonet
Pip Ashley – The Priestess, Lenore
Latoya Donnert – The Lady of Shalott
Pony – Kelpie
Steeds – Llamrei and Hengroe
Morgan Ashley Barbour – Isolde – Damsel Of The Ring
Natalia Victoria Fernandez Ciprian – Enid – Damsel Of The Ring
Serhii Niemtsev – Sir Escanor the Large
Andriy Moskva – Sir Galahad
Nikita Ostrovskyi – Sir Bedevere
Volodymyr Potaychuk – Sir Gwaine
Dany Rivelino – Barold the Page
DENISE – Igrayne

The Giffords Circus Band:
James Keay – Music Director
Emma Price
Joe Pickering
David Meredith
Rob Taylor
Morgan Pugh
David Meredith
Nicholas Hann

Written and directed by Cal McCrystal
Creative advisors: James Keay & Tweedy the Clown

Creative Team:
Cal McCrystal – Writer & Director
Stuart Winter – Associate Director
takis – Production & Costume Designer
James Keay – Musical Director
Kate Smyth – Choreographer
Ian Scott – Lighting Designer
James Marsh – Sound Designer
Emma Campbell – Assistant Choreographer
Joe Avery – Head of Art
Beatrix Eden & Jamie Sanders – Pyrite Creative



Avalon 2024 Tour Dates

23 May – 3 June

6 – 23 June
London Press Night:
Thursday 13 June at 7.30pm

27 June – 8 July

11 – 22 July

25 July – 5 August

8 – 19 August

22 August – 2 September

5 – 16 September
Cirencester, Gloucestershire

19 – 29 September
Stroud, Gloucestershire

Box Office: 01453 800200
Online: www.giffordscircus.com
Ticket Prices:
Child (aged 3 – 14 years old): from £10.00
Adult: from £20.00Social media:
Twitter: giffordscircus
Facebook: GiffordsCircus
Instagram: officialgiffordscircus