Ever Felt Like Running Away to The Circus?

Well you don't have too far to go

Related Links

Gorilla Circus

Watch Mark on the Trapeze on You Tube


Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

The circus has come to town and if you are brave enough you could be part of it here in Ealing .

Local resident Mark Kobayashi-Hillary took the plunge and writes about it for us here:

Gorilla Circus is a flying trapeze school launched in 2009. It's one of only two flying trapeze schools in the UK and the only one to offer classes outdoors. More importantly, for residents of Ealing, the school is located inside Walpole park until June 6.

I noticed the school quite by accident as I sat in the park last Friday reading a book in the sun. At seven o'clock I looked up from my novel to see a group of people line up for a trapeze class. It looked like a lot of fun so I went online and booked myself on an evening class this week. Fortunately the weather was nice - you get a refund if it rains - and I showed up to a warm greeting from the three instructors.

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 in Ealing?

Book a class today!


Mark Kobayashi-Hillary





May 26, 2010


Bookmark and Share