Slow Cotswolds

  • Welcome to the psychedlic pleasure dome - the new show from Cotswolds' Giffords Circus

    Circus owner and Producer Nell Gifford and Director Cal McCrystal have reimagined Giffords Circus (page 263) as a psychedelic pleasure dome for their new 250-date UK tour, which opened earlier this month.

    Xanadu takes its name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous romantic poem Kubla Kahn, where Xanadu is a mythical garden of bliss where anything can happen.

    Nell and Cal have set their vision of Xanadu in the psychedelic Seventies, creating a garden full of joy, freedom and flowers, where 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.

    "Xanadu is one big party and we want audiences to engage with their inner hippie and be wowed by the amazing feats of human strength and achievement and be part of something really special," says Cal.

    The pleasure dome has been created by acclaimed production designer takis and draws heavily from both 60's and 70's influences. The music is hypnotic and exciting and acts a s a device to lure the audience into the show, the finale is a psychedelic spectacle, and will have everyone dancing in the ring in true Giffords tradition.

    Xanadu provides an opportunity to forget their everyday troubles; a place for people to escape daily life and be swept up in the colour, drama and death-defying acts of the fantasy world of circus.

    Xanadu runs until 29th September 2019 and tickets start from £10 children and £15 adults. For more information and to book visit www.giffordscircus.com. Tour dates of the Cotswolds-based circus include:

    Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe - 16th to 28th May

    Daylesford Organic Farm, Stow-on-the-Wold - 30th May to 3rd June

    Blenheim Palace, Woodstock - 6th to 10th June

    Oxford University Parks - 14th to 24th June

    Chiswick House & Gardens (London) - 27th June to 8th July

    Windsor Great Park - 11th to 22nd July

    Stonor Park (Henley-on-Thames) - 25th to 29th July

    Barrington, Burford - 1st to 12th August

    Minchinhampton Common, Stroud - 15th to 27th August

    Marlborough Common, Wiltshire - 30th August to 9th September

    Stratton Meadows, Cirencester - 12th to 16th September

    Fennells Farm, Stroud (the home of Giffords Circus) - 19th to 29th September

    Giffords Circus - a true imaginative and artistic Cotswolds' phenomenon (page 263)

    Nell Gifford is the founder, producer and artisitic director of the much-loved Giffords Circus based in the Cotswolds. Nell performs an equestrian act in the shows and is a painter, as well as a published author.

    Nell lives at Fennells Farm, Stroud, also the Gifffords Circus HQ, with her twin children Red and Cecil. She ran away with the circus when she was eighteen and fell instantly in love with this forgotten art form. She read English at New College Oxford and then joined the first circus that came to town. Since then she worked on several shows in the UK before joining Circus Roncalli in Germany.

    This circus inspired Nell and her fiance, Toti Gifford, a farmer's son from Cheltenham, to start their own circus, which they called Giffords Circus. Their first show appeared in 2000 and has toured the Cotswolds, home counties and London, having entertained more than a million people since and beloved of locals, farmers, rock stars, royalty and runaways everywhere.

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