Ever Felt Like Running Away To The Circus?

Well, you don't have too far to go

Information and related stories

          Gorilla Circus



Sign up for a free newsletter from ShepherdsBushW12.com

and HammersmithToday.co.uk

If you've ever fancied flying through the air, trapeze classes will be on offer in Ravenscourt Park this summer.

'Gorilla Circus' was launched last summer with the aim of bringing flying trapeze classes to ordinary members of the public. The school is one of only two flying trapezes in the UK that are open to the general public, and the only circus school in London that takes place outside.

West London resident Mark Kobayashi-Hillary took part in a lesson at Walpole Park in nearby Ealing. Here he tells us what it was like: "The training session involves learning how to do a basic trick on the trapeze. The class of ten people did some warm-up exercises to begin with, which were greeted with laughter by most of the people on my course as they clearly had not done much exercise for a long time. There were all shapes and sizes of people warming up and the instructors were encouraging to those who feared they might not be able to even hang on once up on the platform.

"The first part of the lesson involves a low trapeze bar. The students have to grab the bar and work out how to get their legs up and over the bar so they can hook their knees over and swing from their legs. It sounds hard, but just about everyone managed to do it - with a little pushing here and there from the instructors! Then, the next step was to get up on the platform and to try it out for real. The platform feels higher than it looks, but the students are always attached to a safety harness, even when climbing the ladder. Safety is clearly a priority and the students were well briefed on what to do.

"The first swing allows the students to feel the momentum of the trapeze, and to try out the knee-hanging. Several people failed to get their legs in the right place, but the success rate was a lot higher on the second swing. Then, for the students who were confident enough to attempt it, one of the instructors swings on a second trapeze and catches the student. Only a few in my class attempted the catch and only one was really successful, but everyone had fun trying and several people still went back up at the end just to try getting the basics right.

"The whole experience lasted almost two hours and I'd recommend it. When was the last time you got to behave like you were a part of a circus, and when was there a circus school on your doorstep?"

Gorilla Circus will be in Ravenscourt Park from June 9th to June 30th.

May 28, 2010