LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s Like That...Who needs special effects with such old-fashioned fun to be had?

The last time I went to the circus I was so little I can’t remember it.

But as I caught sight of the big striped tent at the weekend it would seem my inner child hadn’t forgotten.

Causing me to jump and clap with excitement much to my own, and my partner’s, surprise.

There is just something magical about it – no matter how old you are.

The circus is an entertainment institution.

And a visit is a real occasion.

Just saying the word ‘circus’ conjures up images of the clown troop, ringmaster and exotic animals.

It seems to have stood the test of time – despite the fact Nelly the elephant and her four-legged friends have now all packed their trunks and gone elsewhere.

Which I think I am quite glad about...but I digress.

Reluctantly walking past the candy-floss, and being forbidden from buying a light wand, we took to our seats.

The smell of the dry ice and trampled grass hung in the air.

Along with a single, empty, silver hoop which hinted at the super-human feats which were about to take to the ring, trapeze and sky.

They certainly were super, too.

One man balanced three acrobats on the end of a metal pole resting on his shoulders.

Another hula-hooped while hanging upside down from the ceiling – I can’t even hula-hoop on land.

Unlike most entertainment these days there were no special effects, no stunt doubles or need for 3D glasses.

In fact the only tricks came from the clowns who popped in occasionally to distract the audience from the men setting up the next act.

But it was still jaw-dropping.

laura.cartledge@jpress.co.uk