author: Bethan Taylor


Abigail Collins is a circus performer by profession and a comedian in her soul. The atmosphere beforehand was very calm, as families sat around park tables and ate their tea and we all waited for the show to begin.

Before the show begins, Abigail's sense of humour already becomes apparent. As she asks for her microphone to be turned up she declares 'I wanted one made in England but apparently you're all middle class workers", creating some laughter amongst the small crowd sitting around the Ace of Clubs stage.

She then comes onto the stage ready to begin, with the opening line "Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls, and all those who don't allow society to dictate their gender to them- good for you- welcome to the show!" and I am immediately a fan. Donning a big coat, a hat and a set of false teeth she introduces herself, creating a light atmosphere, and thus building up a bigger crowd.

After introducing herself she changes into a red leotard and begins her circus act by doing the splits with a wine glass filled with vodka on her forehead, which she then drinks in one. I'm not sure which impresses me more.

This is followed by a series of hula-hoop tricks, where John is brought onto stage as her assistant. This is when the gems of her innuendo-filled comedy become most apparent, and she explains this to the parents of the children who now surround her stage, adding "It will go straight over their heads, and if not that is your fault and not mine". In the end, she is spinning 10 hula-hoops around her waist as the audience screams "HOOPLA!". It was magical.

But the magic doesn't stop here, as a beautiful rendition of Swan Lake ensues, only Abigail is dancing with traffic cones on her feet. I can assure you that you read that sentence correctly. The act is really something special, especially as John is called back onto the stage, dressed up in his very own tutu and joins in with the lifts. It's all very surreal. The stage is now completely surrounded as everyone cheers, at the grand finale which I cannot put into words, so I'll allow this photo to fill in the details for you all.

What a start to the Port Eliot festival!