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At the start of our waterways cruise, we spent a memorable and very enjoyable evening at the Moscow State Circus. There are two venues, the 'New Circus' which has a traditional tent shape, and the Old Circus which is inside a theatre. Our performance was at the old one. We arrived early and had some time to explore the little park across the road. This had several bronze statues with a circus theme. The area was populated by the beautiful people of Moscow in expensive looking clothes.

Inside the theatre was a variety of stalls and displays, including monkeys and other animals. Photography was not permitted in the arena, so there are no pictures here of the performance.

Although the show was introduced in Russian, the majority of performances either required no language at all or were mimed. Some of the acts involved animals and this might be a barrier to some people's enjoyment.

Notable were acrobats who did backward somersaults landing on someone's shoulders - whilst wearling stilts, a very funny clown who used sign language to wow the multi-national audience, trapeze artistes, and a magician. Animal acts included horse riding, some very funny dogs, and a rather sad-looking brown bear.

When we returned after the interval, the circus ring had been completely covered by a huge cage. The reason for this became apparent when no less than eight siberian tigers were led out. Their act was a spectacular finale to a most entertaining show. The Moscow State Circus was certainly a highlight of our holiday.

Statue of a clown opposite the Old Circus in Moscow

Above: Life sized statues of Yuri Nikulin and his car attract children and photographers. Nikulin was a much-loved clown, actor and former director of the Moscow State Circus.

Left: A 7m high bronze statue is the centrepiece of this fountain in a small park opposite the Old Circus theatre.

The Old Circus theatre hoses the Moscow State Circus
Entrance to the Old Circus theatre - the sign in cyrillic says "World Circus"

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