Things to do Sheffield: We visited Circus Cortex and some of the stunts have to be seen to be believed

It's a great family day out but there are a few things to be aware of if you're heading there
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The big top has arrived in Sheffield, so we went down to check out the new show from Circus Cortex.

The Ukrainian circus troupe are based at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, just off the Meadowhead roundabout, throughout the Easter holidays, until Sunday, April 14.

Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in LowedgesCicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
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Circus Cortex certainly know how to put on a pulsatingly good show, with non-stop stunts, tricks and silliness filling the 1h50m Masquerade performance, which includes a 20-minute interval.

Some of the feats have to be seen to be believed, including an incredible balancing act compeleted while riding a unicycle, a man juggling sticks with a knife in his mouth, and the gravity-defying aerial contortions performed while suspended from a ribbon, which appeared so fraught with danger it was hard not to look away at times.

Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in LowedgesCicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges

There's not much of a story to follow, with the very loose theme being that when the clock strikes 12 at the start of the show 'the door to an alternate reality is opened'.

Some of the stunts let the skills do the talking while others, like the whip-cracking, are built up into a skit - in that case a slightly dated-feeling one in which the performer cracking the whip attempts to woo a rather scantily clad woman.

Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in LowedgesCicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
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Not every trick comes off first time but that only adds to the suspense, proving the performers are pushing themselves to the limit and getting the audience behind them.

There's a clown but not in the traditional sense, with a mischief-making 'jolly joker' instead engaging the audience in between the stunts. Some of his skits missed the mark, for me at least, but he has an old school charm and his comic box-stacking routine had my five-year-old son in stitches.

How to get there, where to sit and how much are tickets

There is a warning that the show includes strobe lighting, smoke effects, loud noises and the possibility of being splashed. If you're sensitive to loud noises it's certainly advisable to be seated a little further back for the whip-cracking act.

Anyone heading there by car should be aware there's only disabled parking on site so you might want to leave a little longer to get there as you'll have to park up nearby and walk.

Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in LowedgesCicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
Cicrus Cortex at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, on Greenhill Main Road, in Lowedges
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Full-priced grandstand tickets are £25 for adults and £20 for children but there's a two-for-one offer available when booking online, making it reasonable value for a family day out, and there's a decent view from all the seats.

There's popcorn and candy floss for sale, along with hot and cold drinks, but nothing more substantial so you might want to take some snacks of your own. There are also various toys with flashing lights on sale for the children but these are on the pricey side.

Circus Cortex features a mostly Ukrainian cast, many of whom have had to flee the war raging in their native country, and when booking people are invited to make a small voluntary donation to support Ukrainian artistes.

For more information and to book tickets, visit: https://www.circuscortex.com.

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