Le Cirque des Rêves

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Last year, my lovely book club read Erin Morgenstern’s fantastic debut novel, The Night Circus. The book is stunning, and completely drew me into the world of the circus which appears out of nowhere, and opens only at night.

The circus acts as the setting for the magicians duel which Celia and Marco are (unknowingly) fighting to the death. Circus-goers follow rumours all over the world to find out where the circus will appear next, wearing a flash of red to identify themselves to each other in an otherwise monochrome world, and calling themselves Rêveurs. It was as a Rêveur that I dressed up in my best black and white dress and red shoes on Friday night, and headed to Colchester’s Tea and Sympathy, where rumour had it that the circus would next be surfacing.

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The shop had been transformed for the bar night, and everyone had stuck to the black and white (and red if you’d read the book) dress code. Dotted around the shop were little black and white striped bags filled with popcorn, and each room of the shop had been changed into a circus-esque attraction. There was tarot reading, burlesque, belly dancing, magic tricks, and fire breathing; an amazing soundtrack from the DJ, who played the Monster Mash and the most amazing Nirvana/Rick Astley mash up I have ever heard (it may well be the only Nirvana/Rick Astley mash up I’ve ever heard, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome); and the best cocktails I’ve ever drunk out of a jam jar.

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The whole night was utterly fantastic, and we had a really great time – it was so nice to do something completely different, and T&S put on such an amazing event that it was impossible not to enjoy!

(As I was too busy drinking(!) to take photos, and then my phone died, all of the photos shared in this post are by the immensely talented Deborah Cosgrove (website, twitter & facebook) – thank you so much for letting me use them!)

Tea and Sympathy is a little shop on Crouch Street, run by Jo Coldwell and Melissa Porter, with vintage goodies, cakes, workshops and bar nights. You can follow them on twitter and facebook.

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Cantina

Last night, Rachel and I went to see Cantina at Mastercard’s Priceless London Wonderground. It was absolutely amazing.

We got there quite early to pick up our tickets, and went into Wonderground before the show started. It’s like a 1920’s circus ground, with deckchairs to sit on, a Pimm’s shed, amazing food, a rollercoaster, a terrifying ‘Star Spinner’ ride and circus performers walking around eating fire. Later on in the evening there was a band playing on the bandstand in the middle. It was fantastic.


As for the show, though, it was utterly brilliant. Opening with tightrope walking in six inch sparkly stilettos, Cantina is a vintage-style circus show, set in a 1920’s Spiegeltent. The performers wore depression-era outfits, and the show went from Charleston dancing to fistfights, with aerial acrobatics, nudity and a lot of flexibility in between. The music is perfect, and I really wish I’d bought a CD when we came out! I really can’t recommend it enough, and if you can get to the Southbank before the 30th September, when the run ends, definitely go.
Tickets start at £15, but it’s strictly over-18’s, so not one for the kiddies!

After Cantina, we went on the rollercoaster (I’m not allowed to post the HILARIOUS photo we had taken halfway round anywhere on the internet, so you will have to imagine our terrified faces), and then we went to the sideshow where we saw the Space Cowboy‘s sword swallowing. Admittedly, most of it was watched through my fingers.

All in all, it was a brilliant night, and now I wish I was an aerial acrobat. xx