Review: Zippos Circus put the top into big top entertainment when it rolled up at Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Tulloch Stadium with a dazzling array of performers and veteran ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
As an Englishman, I probably should have been watching the cricket World Cup final.
Instead, I was being bowled over by the array or talented performers at Zippos Circus.
The sheer spectacle under the big top was magnificent, even on a Sunday afternoon in a car park in Inverness.
The death-defying stunts were jaw dropping and there were numerous awe-inspiring moments.
From the athleticism of the gymnasts and aerial specialists to the technicians whether on motorbikes or throwing knives, you had to remind yourself this was dangerous stuff and not something from a computer game or created for a TV show or film.
Hats off to all involved in its creation but star of the show was Paulo dos Santos. This diminutive showman from Brazil was never far from the spotlight punctuating the occasion with comedy, yet also participating in an incredible aerial act which showed his strength rather than just his personality.
Charisma was shown by all in the ring, perhaps most notably the Timbuktu Tumblers and Revolution Troupe. The display of human pyramids from the former was just as impressive as the latter’s springboard acrobatics.
Daredevil displays also came from the Lucius Team, with the five bikers simultaneously speeding around the steel Globe of Terror.
Knife thrower Toni was on target - or not - with his wife Nikol, avoiding her by inches with several sharp objects including some on fire while she was tied to a spinning board.
Contortionist Elbernel Sukhbaatar also hit the mark when popping a balloon with a bow and arrow shot using her feet while doing a handstand.
All the drama was coupled with occasional commentary from charming veteran ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE and his own skit with his eight budgies was exquisite.
This old-fashioned entertainment gets five stars but hit everyone for six. AD
Zippos Circus comes to Lossie Green, Elgin from Tuesday until Sunday. For more info and tickets go to www.zippos.co.uk