The Great Moscow Circus

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 January, 2004, 12:00am

If you've ever fantasised about running away to join the circus, now's your chance. The Great Moscow Circus rolled into town before Christmas and is in Hong Kong until May, performing at eight different locations.

Buy ringside seats to really feel part of the show, which is infused with such a joyous spirit of fun, glitz and old-fashioned glamour that you're guaranteed to leave the big top with a grin on your face.

My husband certainly did, and not just because the link act is a dance troupe of gorgeously statuesque Russian girls wearing very little and specialising in improbably high kicks (those g-strings looked painful, I thought). He was charged with holding our normally active one-year-old, who was so transfixed by the show, he didn't wriggle once in more than an hour.

There's plenty to keep children (and adults) spellbound. There's a beefy strong man, who can pull a two tonne truck loaded with men, using only his teeth; a man who can bend his body in half (he has to be seen to be believed); and another who can balance his female partner on the palm of his hand, balancing upside down himself on the other.

There is also a troupe of Lycra-clad trapeze artists who perform daring heroics across the roof of the big top, and a group of mildly irritating clowns, intent on humiliating as many members of the audience as they can persuade into the ring (good for a laugh, as long as you're not the victim).

Football fanatics can get their fix with a canine football team who are expert in dribbling (literally) and scoring goals. And, of course, there's a magician, who can make a scantily clad girl disappear inside a veiled cage, replacing her with a rare white Siberian tiger.

The piece de resistance was when the magician took the tiger on a casual lap of the ring. This was when I began to regret our ringside vantage point. The children, of course, were speechless with excitement.

Verdict: Topper. A great day out and a perfect way to shake-off those winter blues.

The Great Moscow Circus is performing at Hunghom, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Causeway Bay and Kwai Chung until May 2004. Tickets $100-$300. Check for details of performance dates and times.