Donnert family (c) Gem Hall 2019

The sights and sounds of rural Mexico are being evoked in this year’s Gifford’s Circus show ¡Carpa! as the famous troupe prepare to embark on their biggest tour ever.

Along with Tweedy the Clown, enjoy fellow clown Adriana Duch, juggler Gordon Marquez and vaulting and pas de deux act the Donnert Family.

Anna Rastova – Trapeze Artist (c) Gem Hall 2019

Joining them are trapeze artiste Anna Rastova, aerial duo Isabella and Daniela Munoz LandestoyThe – knife throwing – Jasters and Havana Circus Company acrobats. Plus live music from the Giffords Circus band.

“Nell assembled a great team though the years. We are keeping the circus going for her. I know she would be proud”

The Donnerts performing a Pas de Deux act (c) Andrew Rees

And no Giffords Circus show would be complete without Tweedy The Clown. So can he give us three reasons why everyone must see ¡Carpa! this year? “It’s a completely unique experience like no-other circus you’ve seen before! It incorporates live theatre, music and circus,” he says.

The word ¡Carpa! was a type of theatre that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s in Mexico and the southwestern states in America.

The Donnert Family (c) Gem Hall 2019

Mexico is a place that I greatly admire. Mexico’s incredible art, music, history, and people are our inspiration. We are bringing Mexican performers over to join the troupe to create a show full of skill, humour, turmoil and excitement,” acclaimed writer and director Cal McCrystal says, as he returns to the helm for the 11th year.

“But the idea for this year’s show came from the wonderful Lil Rice, Nell’s niece who had spent some time in Mexico with her sister, Kitty. They both thought a Mexican theme would be inspiring and I agreed.”

Cal had worked in Mexico several times and directed famous Mexican actress, Adriana Duch at the National Theatre of Mexico some years ago, whom he has co-erced Ito joining the Giffords crew this year for ¡Carpa!


He will be joined by veteran Giffords musical director James Keay and award winning set and costume designer takis, to faithfully continue circus co-founder and producer Nell Gifford’s extraordinary vision, after she died in 2019 from breast cancer.

“Nell was (and is) my muse,” Cal says, “and I know she would love the theme for this year’s show. She was always encouraged my ideas and was wonderfully generous in her praise when she saw the audience reactions to the finished show.

“When you have a close and loving working friendship with someone for 10 years there is a symbiosis. Nell assembled a great team, tried, and trusted though the years. We are keeping the circus going for her. I know she would be proud.”



The UK tour takes in all the favourite venues such as Daylesford Organic, Sudeley Castle, Blenheim Palace, Stonor Park, Barrington, Minchinhampton Common and Stratton Meadows in Cirencester.

Giffords Circus Opening Night in London 2018 (c) Gem Hall

See dates below:

14 – 25 APRIL Fennells Farm, Stroud, Gloucestershire
6 – 16 MAY Daylesford Organic Farm, Kingham, Gloucestershire
19 – 30 MAY Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
2 – 6 JUNE Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
14 – 18 JULY Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames
21 JULY-1 AUGUST Barrington, Burford, Oxfordshire
4 – 8 AUGUST Frampton-On-Severn, Gloucestershire
11 – 22 AUGUST Minchinhampton Common, Gloucestershire
8 – 19 SEPTEMBER Stratton Meadows, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
22 SEPTEMBER – 2 OCTOBER Fennells Farm, Stroud, Gloucestershire

For tickets or to find out more visit: