Thanks to the support and encouragement of Helen Mortimer at Oxford University Press (OUP) the spirit of Giffords Circus has come to life in this new children’s picture book, Nell & the Circus of Dreams.
We are offering you to win the opportunity to come and see the dress rehearsal for our 2019 tour Xanadu at 6pm on Thursday 2nd May. Director Cal McCrystal leads the company through a three-week rehearsal period in the tent at the Giffords Circus farm in the Cotswolds, ahead of us hitting the road in May.
We wanted to mark the 250th anniversary of circus in 2018 in our own unique Giffords Circus way, so after chewing the end of our pencils, we thought what better way to mark our 2018 tour than planting trees along our route.
Our tour includes some of the most beautiful village greens, parks and estates in the country and we have already planted an oak tree at Stratton Meadows, Cirencester and a ‘Blenheim orange’ apple tree at Frampton Estate in Frampton-on-Severn. We will soon be visiting Blenheim Palace and Stonor Park to plant black poplars, and Marlborough Common and Sudeley Castle to plant oak trees.
We are really excited to be trialing two relaxed performances during our 2019 Xanadu tour and have been working closely with the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, who already put on successful relaxed performances of their pantomime.
Giffords Circus is urging people to laugh this January as there is no better medicine to fend off the January blues, especially on ‘blue Monday’, said to be the most depressing day of the year.
Blue Monday this year falls on the 21st January 2019. It is a made-up day based on pseudo-science that claims it’s the most depressing day of the year due to several factors; from the gloomy January weather, credit card bills and debt from Christmas and broken New Year’s resolutions.
We are hugely excited for 2019 as Nell's new book Nell & the Circus of Dreams is being published in May by Oxford University Press. A beautifully produced picture book, it tells the story of a young girl called Nell who meets a tiny chick called Rosebud. Their new friendship is the trigger for a dreamlike journey into the imaginative realm of the circus. Nell helps to prepare the tent, eats with a circus family in their caravan, and even performs with them in the show!
We are starting the New Year with a bang by announcing the name of our new 2019 show –XANADU.
It is midsummer 1973 in Hyde Park and the flower power movement is at its height. Hippies, hipsters, rock stars, musicians, wild women and global nomads with shamanic horses gather to play, sing, dance, protest and perform. Policemen and a family of out-of-towners get caught up in the celebrations. Will they get in the groove? Nell Gifford builds a pleasure-dome and Tweedy has a job in the kitchen as he thought everyone was talking about “Flour Power”. As evening approaches, the ever more chaotic event careers towards a joyful, transcendental finale. Be there or be square!
We are really excited to be putting on a small but perfectly formed art exhibition and sale here at Fennells Farm on the last weekend of our tour, 29th & 30th September. The work on display and for sale will be work from Nell Gifford and also from the Giffords Artist in Residence for 2018, Gregory Smart, who is from a renowned circus family.
Lisandra Austin is a circus aerialist that has been performing for over 16 years in circus around the world. Born in Havana, Cuba, Lisandra is married to seventh-generation circus owner and artist Patrick Austin, who is this year’s Giffords Circus tent master and they have a one-year old son Logan.
At the end of May I received the most difficult news that I have secondary breast cancer. If you've had primary cancer this is what you dread to hear. From an initial grim prognosis, I've been working with the most amazing team of physicians and oncologists as I thoroughly intend to be here for years and decades to come.