Giffords Circus opens Xanadu for its summer show
By David Wood
Where: Various venues
When: Friday, May 3, to Sunday, September 29
Nell Gifford and Cal McCrystal have reimagined Giffords Circus as a psychedelic pleasure dome for their new 250-date UK tour which opens tonight (Friday, May 3).
Xanadu takes its name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous romantic poem Kubla Khan 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.
"I've wanted for a while to put on stage the love that our circus community has for each other," says Cal McCrystal, director. "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!"
The pleasure dome has been created by acclaimed production designer takis and draws heavily from both 60s and 70s influences. The music is hypnotic and exciting and acts as 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 is a welcome and clever antidote to a political backdrop of unease in the UK and provides audiences an opportunity to forget their everyday troubles, which is the true ethos of circus.
A place for the common man 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 September 29 across 13 UK venues. Gloucestershire venues are:
- Fennells Farm, Stroud (May 3-13 and September 19-29)
- Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe (May 16-28)
- Daylesford Organic Farm, nr Stow-on-the-Wold (May 30-June 3)
- Minchinhampton Common, Stroud (August 15-27)
- Stratton Meadows, Cirencester (September 12-16).
Tickets start from £10 for children and £15 adults. For more information and to book, visit www.giffordscircus.com or call 01242 691181.
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