Monday, 30 July 2012

LIFE OVERSEAS : Magic Of A Circus

TIMELESS: Amazing acts appeal to the child in u
THE child in you remains regardless of age. A few weeks ago, I saw posters of a circus that was coming to the town of Killaloe, Ireland. I hardly remembered anything from my last visit to one but I knew that I could not afford to miss it this time. Fossett's Circus, Ireland's National Circus, has been around since 1888, bringing its magic to towns and villages.

Tickets were priced at a minimum of €12 (RM45) but thanks to discount vouchers online, I managed to find one at a mere €4! I immediately bought it and waited eagerly for the show.

I went to the circus with my family and friends on its first night. Loud music blared from a multicoloured vehicle, creating a festive atmosphere. A long line of people queued to buy tickets. We were warmly welcomed by the crew who ushered us to our seats. The ushers wore black and red uniforms and funky streaks of make-up on their faces.

I entered the giant canopy, which was set up in a car park. There were rows of bright red and orange chairs. The scent of buttery popcorn and candy floss filled the air. Children lined up to get their faces painted or for a pony ride.

The drum roll sounded as the lights dimmed and the ringmaster appeared, dressed in a hot red sequined suit with black trimmings. A top hat and a tailcoat topped off her costume.

The opening act saw a dog riding a pony. That was when I realised that the ushers were also performers. I thought this segment lacked pizzazz but the children seemed absolutely enchanted.

Things started picking up when a clown made his entrance, complete with goofy overalls, a pair of large shoes and a big red nose. He attempted to spin hoops around his waist and made us all laugh when he succeeded to do so with a hoop that had a radius of two metres. He thrilled the crowd as he played little tricks on people in the audience.

Though I initially had doubts about the circus acts, I changed my mind when a gymnast appeared, dressed in a bright yellow leotard. She hung from a metal hoop dangling from the top of the canopy to the stage. The talented artiste performed spectacular flips and difficult poses while suspended in the air.

Then, came a contortionist who could fit his body through a tennis racket without strings. He even placed his legs over his head while supporting himself with two hands. To make it more challenging, he picked up a cup of water with his feet and drank from it!

The final act raised the bar. A couple walked and cycled on a tightrope. Their hardest feat was when the woman stood on the man's shoulders while he walked on the tightrope. All of these stunts were executed without a safety net.

It was magical to watch the performers accomplish amazing acts. It goes to show there is always a child in you who will be in awe of flamboyant stunts. I doubt I will ever outgrow going to the circus.

The writer is studying at a high school in Ireland. She loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart

Read more: Life Overseas: Magic of a circus - You - New Straits Times

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