My children (and myself) love the circus. Whenever Zirka Circus is in town, or in fact anywhere close enough to justify a few hours drive on a weekend, we will head off to enjoy the show.

Which is why we found ourselves in Hawera a few weeks ago, clutching our fairy floss and popcorn, ready to be entertained. Sure, we knew the show was coming to Stratford in just a few short weeks, but patience doesn't appear in any of our names.

At three, our youngest son is already a circus groupie, ask him what he likes best, and he will always reply, 'the clowns". As the clowns made their first appearance during "Cross the Ocean" it was quickly apparent that they weren't going to be changing his opinion any time soon. With fantastic mime skills, the hilarious duo had the audience, especially one small three-year-old, in stitches. I challenge anyone not to laugh when they bring their pet (stuffed) dog out, although I suspect if teddies could talk, my son's stuffed dog is regretting the day his owner saw the act as since then he has been thrown around the lounge on a regular basis ...

When the three little frogs came onto stage, we were all entranced as the pint-sized performers showed size and age mean nothing when it comes to skill. For our ten-year-old son, they were a highlight of the show. Seeing children younger than himself keeping the audience entertained and engrossed made running away to the circus seem a realistic dream for any child.


It is hardly surprising that when our seven-year-old daughter is asked for her favourite parts of the show, she always lists the "beautiful ladies who balance and fly in the air". From their first appearance, she is always at the edge of her seat, staring in open-mouthed wonder at their agility, grace and their very sparkly costumes.

'Across the Ocean' did not disappoint when it came to this part of the show, and our daughter was not the only one gasping in amazement at the acrobats leapt across the stage with seemingly effortless grace.

By the end of the show, we were all convinced that is was the best performance we had seen, topping a recent circus outing in Vegas even according to the seven-year-old.

While the fairy-floss induced sugar high wore off quickly enough, the magic of the circus hasn't and we all recommend you find the time in your diary to head to Victoria Park this weekend and immerse yourself in the fantastical world that is Zirka Circus.

Check out this week's Stratford Press for our fantastic ticket giveaway!