The Royal London Circus is in town, just about to finish up their Kuching leg of the tour when I was given an invite to check them out.
My last circus experience was when I was about 5. I've grown out of watching clowns and magicians since. But it was an invite I might as well experiencing it one more time.
Tickets cost RM25 for the cheap seats, right up to RM55 where the action is as close as it can get.
The opening act features all the circus performers coming out to do the most unenergetic dance in the whole of mankind. Seriously, if this were the American Idol, half the performers would've been booted off within the first five seconds.
I'm sorry but for an opening dance, that was awkward. Maybe only the kids would enjoy it, but I don't get the fascination of clowns prancing around in big shoes and red nose.
To make things worse, there was The Spandex Problem™.
Holy cow, take look at THAT THING! Hey, I came to the circus expecting to see animals, but I sure didn't expect to see so many Camel Toes!
OMG can die lah like that. How to enjoy the show when the performers look like they're not wearing anything at all?
Luckily, things start to pick up after that initial traumatising experience.
As far as stunts go, there were plenty of action to put you at the edge of your seats (or bench, if you paid for the cheap tix.)
Some of the stunt were pretty crazy, like skipping rope on top of a rotating wheel 30 feet up in the air. I shudder to think how many times he broke his bones just rehearsing that trick.
Undoubtedly the best act of the night goes to the two ballet dancers who performed their number by flying in the air hanging on a piece of the red cloth.
No death-defying stunts, no lame comedy, it's just a beautiful and romantic ballet guaranteed to tug the heart strings. I think that act was worth the price of the entrance ticket alone.
The rest of the evening was pretty much standard circus fare.
Doggie jumping tricks.
Err... questionable juggling tricks.
Hungry elephants gobbling up humans for dinner?
Despite some rather anti-climaxing moments, I say the Royal London Circus was a pretty solid 2.5 hour show.
The finale features 4 stuntmen riding their dirt bikes whirling inside the globe, simultaneously. It was some thrilling stuff. A second of miscalculation would spell disaster for all 4 men involved.
I reckon the police should use this method to punish those hoons on the road with loud exhausts and let them kill themselves off.
The Royal London Circus comes once in a while to most parts of Asia. It's no mean feat bringing around this gargantuan group of performers from 17 different countries, animals, admin staff and props all over the place, but organisers Paul and Doris have been doing so for the past 20 odd years and still find joy doing what they do.
Personally, I reckon they're doing heckuva fantastic service to the community travelling to all the small towns in Malaysia. Lots of kids living in these areas may perhaps never even be given a chance to see a circus if it weren't for them.
The circus was good fun and definitely worth a watch if you have little kids to bring along to. I left the circus thoroughly and completely entertained.
One thing for sure, this image will continue to haunt me for the many nights to come.
I can't sleep at night anymore. :(