The above image depicts experts in the act of performing the famous ‘tightrope walk’ in the Continental circus of Berlin’s most recent visit to London, specifically Richmond from April 4th to 23rd.

Following this extraordinary visit, thoughts surrounding the from of entertainment come to mind, bringing up a range of questions, one of which being, ‘is the circus a dead form of entertainment or a perfect day out for the whole family to enjoy’.


The original form of entertainment dates back to early Roman ages, the word deriving from the Latin for ‘circle’ or ‘ring’, with the original Circus Maximus in Rome fitting an audience of over 150, 000 Romans. Back then, the circus involved mainly spoken acts and very basic tricks, involving the telling of jokes or even juggling. However, since then, the circus has changed a great deal, but with this has also come a great change in popularity.


Peaking between the mid-1800s and mid-1900s, the Circus has since then lost incredible numbers in its crowds due to a number of reasons, the main of which being a simple loss of interest in our emerging generation of younger spectators who have grown up surrounded by the virtual world, rather than excited to watch a live show. When I went to visit last week at the venue in Old Dear Park however, the audience seemed as packed and lively as ever, shedding light on the future of circuses, perhaps indicating a come back for the industry.


When talking about this subject, it is also important to mention the controversy surrounding animal cruelty in the circus industry however, over the recent decade especially, a significant positive change can be seen in the way animals are treated again hinting at a more positive future.


As the picture shows, the circus is home to many different amazing acts that would shock you even thinking about it, several of these including contortion, sword swallowing and the flying trapeze, all acts that I can’t help but question both the safety and sanity involved in their performance.


As to the answer of the question posed, it is fair to say that only the future will decide and that we shall see soon, but from personal experience, I would have to call it a great day out full of funny and shocking acts, most definitely a bucket-list experience.