Scotsabroad's Weblog

February 23, 2010

The National Circus

Filed under: Cairo — scotsabroad @ 7:38 am

It is half term, and with the weather cool, we decided to head downtown to Agouza. In summer the National Circus invites   world-class acts from famous circuses in Europe and Asia but last night we were not disappointed by the home-grown talent of the Egyptian performers. Under a rather shabby big top we were almost outnumbered by staff, encouraging us to buy popcorn, drinks and balloons or have our photograph taken with a beautiful lion cub that was being carried around. Dilapidated and in need of a good clean, disappointed by the lack of showmanship and costume from the ringmasters but the acts themselves kept our attention. Jugglers, acrobats, a tightrope walker, trapeze artists, clowns,  a magician and a wonderful group of unicyclists with pot-bellies and constant looks of amazement when the moves came off.  There was some important dignitary in the front row (50 LE seats) who provoked some major paying of respects, including those from the performers themselves as their act came to a close.  Was not allowed to take photographs. After about two hours, a hastily erected enclosure around the ring tells the audience that the finale is about to start. Six lions and three tigers appear along with an aggressive tamer. The lions seem fond of each other, snuggling up and licking each other when they get the chance. One of those moments when you secretly imagine  the cats turning on their tormentor and giving him a good mauling.  However, several yawn with indifference as others jump from one stool to another. The lion tamer struts his stuff and cracks his whip. We head off to catch the Metro as he counts them backstage.  

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