The circus is in town and we LOVED our evening spent “under the big top”. This was not a big 3 ring circus and there are no elephants, lions, or trick dogs. The Bellucci Italian Circus is a one ring acrobatic circus. There were a variety of acts ranging from acrobatics, clowns, tight rope walkers, “motorcycles of death”, and acts with fire and music.
We arrived at 530pm and purchased our tickets from the ticket booth. Tickets vary in price depending on where you want to sit. I would say there are very few bad seats because it is set up like a theatre in the round. Ticket prices begin at 75Sar each. There are some mid-range tickets for 125-175Sar, and you can also go all the way up to the VIP seats at 800Sar per person. We opted for a mid-range ticket and I though our seats were great. After purchasing the tickets we entered the first tent where snacks like popcorn and ice-cream were available along with drinks. These extras were very reasonably priced (10Sar large popcorn), unlike the circuses in America I have been to where you pay almost $10 (30sar) for a popcorn. We then proceeded to the tunnel that led to the Big Top, our arm bands were fastened on and we were escorted to our seats.
The show begins with some jump roping gymnastics, acrobatics and a welcome by the ringmaster and clown. The initial welcome was in English, but then an Arabic speaking ringmaster took over and the remainder of the announcements were in Arabic. I did not find the lack of English to be a problem. It was a circus and we were there to watch the acts, not listen to the commentary. If you attend the shows during Eid they informed me there will be additional and “special” new acts, plus they will be raffling off the cars in front of the Big Top. The Big Top was cooled professionally (almost a bit chilly, you may want a sweater) and quite comfortable for us.
There was an intermission during the show where people were free to use their prayer room or restrooms. Many times at events like this I am terrified to see what state the bathroom is in, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was clean, but with no toilet paper. I am also happy to report that they have at least 3 buildings available with ladies’ bathrooms to help reduce the long lines that we always endure.
There are two shows available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 545pm-8pm and then 845pm to 11pm. Sunday to Wednesday they only offer the 545pm show (this includes the week of Eid). If you are aa teacher, great organizer or looking for a creative birthday party idea, they offer special promotional rates for schools and large groups of 80+ people including food. I am waiting for an email for exact fee info.
I really felt this was a great family activity. It was probably the best family night we have had since moving to Jeddah. There was something for everyone, including those who came without children. Every child had a smile on their face and even the adults had a few laughs and gasps! I felt it was worth the money. My daughter loved the “motorcycles of death” performance and the shadow puppet show. I preferred the athleticism of the acrobatic acts performing many tricks I had never seen before. My husband was awed by the tight rope walkers and their bravery with no safety harnesses or a net! We all found ourselves laughing out loud many times.
Fees: Tickets begin at 75Sar and go up to VIP at 800Sar
Times: Sunday-Wednesday 545pm show ONLY on Thursday to Saturday 545pm show and 845pm show.
Location: On Amir Sultan Street between Kayyal Street and Sari Road (map on the web page)
Website: (Not kept updated) http://belluccicircus.com
Dates: Playing until the end of October.