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David Pibworth | The Blog


Giffords Circus: Sit Back And Enjoy The Moment

An evening of fabulous entertainment ...



Once a year, I take my wife and daughter to Giffords Circus. At most of the performances I go to, I sit with a critical eye, thinking what I might do with this show, or how I could get involved ...

For a thoroughly entertaining evening, visit Giffords Circus. You won't be disappointed.

For a thoroughly entertaining evening, visit Giffords Circus. You won't be disappointed.

But not with this one. We just sit back and enjoy it. I think that, now and again, we should all just chill out and enjoy the moment.

From the moment you get on site, there's an excitement about it all. All the staff are costumed and friendly and it's always a sell-out. The only animals they use are horses, dogs and an occasional guest chicken, so no sad lions or elephants.

"All their animals are top notch, well looked after and clearly enjoying it all."

There is a different theme each year, and a loose story runs through the 2-hour event, linking the acts. Each year, Tweedy the clown is there and he's superb. The children love him and yet he throws in some amazingly funny adult bits that go right over the heads of the kids. He's a very skilled slapstick man. Last year they actually shot him out of a cannon.

There are many regular performers, and one who always stands out is Nancy Trotter Landry who is charismatic all-round actress, dancer, singer, and has just about any skill under her belt that you could ask for.

If I had a free hand in producing a pantomime, the first two I'd call upon would be Nancy and Tweedy, but the whole circus and backstage is full of pro's, from the founder, Nell Gifford, the director Cal McCrystal and the live 6 piece band.

I know this sounds odd, but there's an international flavour to this very British circus, with a superb mad juggling act, and the Konjowoch Troupe both from Ethiopia. Both acts have to be seen to be believed.

"There are even high wire acrobatics; no net needed at this show."

The amount of work that goes into all of this is beyond belief, and the other thing is that they do it entirely commercially. They sell out all of their shows, they sell merchandise and they even have a very splendid after-show supper which you have to book into early. We missed the supper this year (didn't book early enough) but next year we're going again, but with a large group and having the whole deal.

There is no commercial reason for this blog post. I just think that we could all do with a brilliant day out where you can see a truly magnificent show that is financially successful.

"You can't beat Giffords circus."

They're performing until the 25th September in and around Gloucestershire and well worth a visit. Check out their website at

to find out more about them.

See you next week, where I'll tell you how it's all going with directing Spamalot.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.