SWINDON LITERARY FESTIVAL REVIEW: CHILDREN from the video game generation were treated to a performance from the age of greasepaint and gas lamps at Lawn Woods.

Gifford's Circus draws its inspiration from big top entertainment of the Victorian era even though it was only founded three years ago.

But anyone who went expecting to see tigers, elephants and other endangered species goaded into performing for the benefit of the public will have been disappointed.

Giffords was an altogether different sort of show. Seamlessly choreographed, it was a blend of theatre, circus and dance, all set to live music.

There were acrobatics, trick horse riding and even a strong man accompanied by a talented and multi-instrumental two-piece band.

While most of the action was fairly tame by today's seen-everything standards there was enough magic in the theatrical presentation, and enough genuine thrills and spills, to maintain the interest.

Judging by the amazement on the faces in the front row this was cracking entertainment for the under-fives.

By Dominic Ponsford