Roll up, roll up, to the greatest show on Earth.

Last Sunday I took a trip to Melton (which was an adventure itself) to watch the 2pm show of the Perry Brothers Circus. The last time I went to the circus was about a decade ago. I think it was Circus Royale that I saw on that occasion, and that they were still using wild animals. I have fond memories of visiting Ashton’s Circus with my Grandfather and my Dad back in the late 70s and early 80s, when they would pitch their big top at the Burnley Oval. Back then they definitely did use animals, and I remember wandering around looking at the elephants, lions, tigers and other wild animals.

When I attended Perry Brothers the first thing that can to my mind was how small the big top was. As a kid I always remembered the circus tent as being huge, but maybe that was because back then I looked at the circus through a child’s eyes and to a child everything is huge. Then again, as I said earlier, I last attended the circus ten or so years ago, when I was in my twenties, and I still remember it as being bigger back then too. The circus tent itself looked as though it had seen better days. There were a few small holes in the top of the big top.

These days wild animals are no longer used in the circus shows. We no-longer get the opportunity to see elephants, lions, tigers or other wild beasts perform. Perry’s do have Saigon, the last of the circus elephants, who usually travels around with the troupe but is retired from performing, but she was not at Melton on Sunday. I guess she was back at the Perry’s property, away from the spotlight and the controversy caused after an unfavourable Herald Sun article last year. I would have liked to have seen Saigon there, as I just love to watch elephants. I can, and have, sit for hours at the Melbourne Zoo just watching the elephants.

The acts at the circus were quite a mixed bag. There was lots of juggling, hoop twirling and wire walking but no trapeze, which I guess is something that is very much associated with circuses. Many of the acts made slight mistakes but these were not all that noticeable to most of the audience and easily corrected. The acts that were the most popular were of course the clowns. Firstly there was Oscar and his comedy cycling, then Brody the Clown, who generated lots of laughs from both adults and children.

Overall it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. I’m not sure if I would ever travel as far as Melton again to watch Perry’s Circus, but if they travel a bit closer to the city I would highly recommend seeing them. At just $15 for an adult ticket it is very good value for money.

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