Review Circus 1903 Paris Las Vegas

Review Circus 1903 Paris Las Vegas…

A brand new circus has arrived at Paris Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. This production has more heart & soul than almost any other show in Vegas history.

The producers of “The Illusionists,” have teamed up with the award-winning puppeteers from “War Horse” to create “CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus”.

The show takes audiences on a journey back to the turn of the century, a time when the big top was majestic, exciting and a huge event to arrive in town.

Circus 1903 showcases extraordinary ‘spec acts’ via a charming story….often involving the audience.

Like most shows of this nature, it offers nothing new. However, Circus 1903 presents 90 minutes of beautifully produced cabaret, especially perfect for young children and their entire family.



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There are no animals in the show, however, there are two beautiful elephants created by the puppeteers from War Horse.

This scene is gorgeous both theatrically and visually.

The puppets appear throughout the show as the mother teaches her calf the tricks of the trade. You immediately suspend disbelief. Genius theatre.

Circus 1903 isn’t trying to have the polish or pretention of Cirque Du Soleil, an obvious comparison.

Cirque are mostly breath-taking and stunning but often deliberately confuse to be arty - everything traditional circus is not. 1903 capitalises on it’s nostalgia & legacy beautifully.

Most importantly this show is driven by the charismatic, authentic and utterly captivating ‘Willy Whipsnade’ played masterfully David Williamson. This is casting perfection.

His scene with the children towards the end of the show not only has fabulous comedy magic but offers a masterclass in effortless stage ease, confidence and perfect timing.

His warmth is captivating.

The problem Circus 1903 faces is fighting for attention against the goliath of Cirque and other shows plastered across the strip…most of which are the same price.

When the circus was invented over 100 years ago there was little competition and the world was a different please. Amidst 100 other shows on the Las Vegas Boulevard, amidst everything else, it is tough to stand out.

This shows niche is certainly for ‘the entire family’. It’s magical in places.

There’s a tenderness and simplicity about the production of this show which is totally charming and makes it a joyous event to attend.

Circus is not about 2017 technology, it is about stunning talent who dedicate their entire lives to their 7 minute spec act. This show pays tribute to that heritage beautifully.


“CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus” is designed by scenic artist Todd Ivins and set in a decadent circus tent.

Costumes for the Las Vegas show are designed perfectly by Angela Aaron.

Her impeccable recreations of original costumes were inspired by authentic photograph collections and historical museum pieces.

Timing is also great with BARNUM, ‘greatest showman on earth’ being released this Christmas. Hopefully the interest around that movie will help this production survive for a long time to come.


No circus would be complete without its music. The soundtrack of “CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus”, although not live, embodies the time period and accentuates the thrill and danger of each specific act.

The difficulty this show faces is that ticket prices are between $60-$100 which puts it in competition with every headliner & huge production show on the Strip.

Is it value for money and worth a re-visit? Anytime!

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 4th Oct 2017.