Zippos Circus Blackheath, London Review

29 March to 10 April 2018


Reviewed by Emma Rogers

Zippos Circus celebrates 250 years of the British Circus with new show!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve never actually been to a circus before, so this was my first experience of what it’s really like to step back in time 250 years and see the kind of acts you would see then, but with the modern technology we have today.

The show starts with the ring master, Norman Barrett MBE announcing the history of the circus and each act, which are typical of any traditional circus. The horses are the first act out with jugglers, then Paulo dos Santos on the aerial straps. This was a heart-in-mouth moment as all the adults gasped when the acrobat moved between the bars, high up in the tent. The magnificent horses of Tamik Khadikov bring the tradition of equestrian circus acts back to life, and this was something the smaller children loved. Then Totti, the traditional circus clown and his wife Charlotte, a traditional white face clown intersperse the show with different slap stick acts before the acrobatic Troupe Havana show off their skills of contortion and gymnastics.

Norman Barrett returns after the interval with another child-pleasing act; the budgies! Eight birds in all have several acts where they walk along the tight rope, cycle a miniature bicycle and perform cute acts that all the children loved. The Totti Clown family return with young Charlie and another slap-stick act that the smaller children loved.

The whole show lasts about 1½ hours with the interval of about 20 minutes. It’s a traditional circus with not only the traditional acts but the tent is decorated in old-fashioned style, with Norman Barrett the ring master, dressed in traditional red coat and top hat. It seats about 300 people but is surprisingly warm with special heating arrangements, and there is plenty of food available outside during the interval, popcorn, water and candy floss inside. There are also lights that the children can buy in the shape of swords or swirling wheels which make up part of the first act, when the lights go down and all you can see is these toys glowing in the dark!

Another note – you can take film and photos (just not with flash when the animals are around) and post them on Facebook or You Tube with suitable comments.

We really enjoyed the show and have already recommended it to friends with children, it’s fantastic for Easter and at £9 per adult and £7.50 for children under 15, it’s actually cheaper than the cinema!

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £7.50 (Subject to booking fee).

Zippos Circus is at Blackheath in London from 29 March to 10 April 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit

Zippos Circus, Blackheath, Shooters Hill Road, London, SE3 0UA | 0871 210 2100

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