Giffords Circus has revealed the name of it’s 2023 show: Les Enfants du Paradis will take inspiration from French Romanticism in the mid-19th Century.
Acclaimed director Cal McCrystal said: “Les Enfants du Paradis will be our most lavish show yet! And with romance at its heart, the show’s narrative will provide a playful context for some of the most intriguing, exciting and beautiful acts ever to appear at Giffords.”
The Les Enfants du Paradis tour will open on 6 April at Fennells Farm, Stroud, the home of Giffords Circus in the Cotswolds, before touring to 13 venues, with the bonus of an extra week in London at Chiswick House & Gardens.
The London press night at Chiswick House & Gardens is Friday 2 June at 7pm.
Award winning and internationally renowned production designer takis, whose elegant work has graced the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses, will once again create lavish sets and period costumes that will transport audiences to a magical – and unexpected – world under the canvas of the big top.
Tweedy the clown has been at the heart of Giffords Circus for over 15 years, bringing new comic routines and skills to the show each year. At the centre of the story and action, he makes a welcome return in Les Enfants du Paradis, with his unique brand of slapstick comedy guaranteed to have everyone in stitches.
Tweedy will be joined by actor and singer Michael Fletcher, who previously starred in Giffords Circus shows ‘Xanadu’ in 2019 and ‘The Feast’ in 2020.
New acts for Les Enfants du Paradis include:
Antony Cesar, an exciting 20-year-old aerialist who won the golden buzzer on ‘France’s Got Talent’ in 2020. Antony’s parents are artistes Pat Bradford and Kate Smyth who appeared in early Giffords Circus shows with their hand-balancing act, Kate is also Giffords Circus choreographer.
Also starring in Les Enfants du Paradis:
Sergi Buka, an amazing illusionist, shadow artist and lanternist who will perform a poetic Chinese shadow act.
The Skating Medini (Asia and Dylan Medini) – a dynamic high-speed roller-skating act from one of Italy’s oldest circus families.
Amanda Sandow with her beautiful liberty pony act.
Foot juggling and aerialist artistes Romy and Alex Michael.
The Luna Girls – aerial hoop duo Marina Alvarado de Luna and Markia Ashley Gould.
The Ethio-selam Troupe, a very exciting Ethiopian acrobatic troupe, who will perform the double Chinese pole. The Ethio-selam Troupe are managed by Bibi and Bichu,
Giffords alumni and jugglers who appeared in more than 10 Giffords Circus shows and were adored members of the circus, so it’s heart-warming to have them back.
Tickets are on sale now for all grounds and further information about Les Enfants du Paradis can be found at www.giffordscircus.com
Les Enfants du Paradis
2023 Tour Dates
Fennells Farm, Stroud
6th April – 17th April
20th April – 24th April
Daylesford Organic Farm,
27th April – 8th May
Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe
11th May – 15th May
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
18th May – 30th May
Chiswick House and Gardens,
2nd June – 19th June
Home Farm Live, Elstree
22nd June – 26th June
Evenley Wood Garden, Evenley
29th June – 10th July
Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames
13th July – 24th July
27th July – 7th August
Minchinhampton Common, Gloucestershire
10th August – 21st August
Marlborough Common, Wiltshire
24th August – 4th September
Stratton Meadows, Cirencester
7th September – 18th September
Fennells Farm, Stroud
21st September – 1st October
Nell Gifford 1973 – 2019
Co-founder, producer and artistic director of the much-loved Giffords Circus based in the Cotswolds. She ran away with the circus when she was eighteen and fell instantly in love with this forgotten art form. She read English at New College Oxford and then joined the first circus that came to town before working on several shows in the UK before joining Circus Roncalli in Germany.
Circus Roncalli inspired Nell and her fiancé, Toti Gifford, a farmer’s son from Cheltenham, to start their own circus, which they called Giffords Circus. The show first appeared at Hay on Wye arts festival in 2000 and has toured the Cotswolds, home counties and London, having entertained over a million people since, beloved of locals, farmers, rock stars, royalty and runaways everywhere.
A fellow of Gloucestershire and Hereford University, Nell published four books about circus life and history – Josser: The Secret Life of a Circus Girl, Who was…Philip Astley? The Inventor of the Circus and Giffords Circus: The First Ten Years, and most recently Nell & The Circus of Dreams. Nell has co-written a cookery book published in March 2020 – GIFFORDS CIRCUS COOKBOOK: Recipes & Stories from a
Magical Circus Restaurant by Nell Gifford & Ols Halas (Quadrille, £27).
Cal’s Theatre credits include ‘Drama At Inish’ at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ at The National Theatre, ‘Don Quixot’e at the RSC, ‘¡Vamos Cuba!’ for Sadlers Wells and ‘Office Party’ at The Barbican. He regularly directs in British Repertory and has created countless international touring shows for companies such as Spymonkey, Peepolykus and The Mighty Boosh, which won the Perrier Award in 1997.
In 2022 Cal directed the hit pantomime ‘Mother Goose’ starring Ian McKellen and John Bishop (West End and national tour to April).
Opera: includes Haydn’s ‘Il Mondo Della Luna‘ for English Touring Opera, Rossini’s ‘Le Comte Ory’ for Garsington Opera. Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Iolanthe’ and ‘HMS Pinafore’, both of which broke box office records at English National Opera and were nominated for Olivier Awards.
Circus: Varekai and Zumanity for Cirque du Soleil, Palazzo in Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Vienna, Ohlala for Circus Knie, Opium and Atomic Saloon in Las Vegas and five cabaret shows with singer, Kate Dimbleby. Cal has been director at Giffords Circus since 2012.
Film: comedy consultant on ‘The Dictator’, ‘The World’s End’, ‘Cats’, ‘Man Up’, ‘The Nice Guys’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, ‘Dora And The Lost City Of Gold’, ‘Wonka’ and ‘Paddington 1 and 2’ (in which he also appears as Sir Geoffrey Wilcott).
TV: Cirque du Soleil‘s ‘Solstrom’, MTV Europe Video Awards, Comedy Cuts, ‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’ and ‘Inside Number 9.
takis – Production Designer
takis is an international performance designer based in London, whose diverse body of work encompasses award-winning West End and leading UK theatre productions, international musicals,
opera, ballet, circus, fashion, and commercial productions.
He has worked for companies including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Finnish National Opera and Ballet, Frankfurt Opera House, Opera Holland Park, The National Theatre, Old Vic, Queen Elizabeth Hall amongst other leading venues in the UK and Internationally.
Olivier-winning and nominated West End credits include ‘In The Heights’, ‘Five Guys Named Moe’, ‘The Toxic Avenger’ and ‘Phaedra’ at the ROH and ‘Iolanta’, ‘Il segreto di Susanna’ and ‘Isabeau’ for the International Opera Awards.
Commercially he has art directed and designed the world’s first drive through immersive car launch for the Toyota C-HR starring Milla Jovovich and Centrepoint’s 50th Anniversary Gala at the Round House with Duran Duran and Rita Ora.
takis’ work has been exhibited at the Design Museums in London and Helsinki, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Bucharest Modern Art Museum.
For Giffords Circus, takis has designed ‘Any Port in a Storm’, ‘My Beautiful Circus’, ‘Xanadu’, ‘The Hooley’ and ‘¡Carpa!’
Tweedy the Clown BEM
Tweedy has been at the heart of Giffords Circus for over 15 years, bringing new comic routines and skills to the show each year. He is accomplished in most circus skills and is proficient at playing various
Tweedy has won many comedy awards and his talents are in much demand in circus, theatre, TV and film, both at home and abroad. He has built up a cult following which includes a number of celebrities.
For two years, Tweedy was featured clown on Ringling Brothers, and Barnum and Bailey, playing such prestigious venues as Madison Square Garden and The Staples Centre, LA. He also toured theatres for several years with Cirque Berserk, including runs in the West End.
Tweedy started his circus career with Zippo’s Circus back in 1994. At this time, he met Nell who was working on another circus, they instantly became friends. He has created his own stage shows ‘Tweedy’s Lost Property’, ‘Tweedy’s Magic and Mayhem’, ‘Tweedy’s House of Fun’, ‘Tweedy’s Slapstick Symphony’, ‘Tweedy’s Illusion Confusion’ and most recently ‘Sherlock Tweedy’, which have had sell out audiences, standing ovations and received critical acclaim.
Tweedy’s first job after leaving school was pantomime, he has since appeared in pantomimes throughout the country for over 25 years, spending the last 10 years at The Everyman Theatre,
During the pandemic, Tweedy created an online series with The Barn Theatre, ‘Tweedy’s Lost and Found’. It featured a celebrity guest each week and received rave reviews from the national press. We are delighted to welcome Tweedy back to Giffords Circus for Les Enfants du Paradis.
Tweedy was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours List 2023 for his contribution to circus and the local community in Stroud.
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