Michaela Merz

100 years of ‘Circus Knie’

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We didn’t have any tickets for the circus performance and it was sold out. Reason dictated it wouldn’t make any sense to go to the venue and ask for a ticket at the counter. It was November, it was cold and rainy. To watch a movie at home seemed like the better solution. We went anyway.

There was a big sign at the counter that said ‘SOLD OUT TODAY’. I asked anyway and was told that they didn’t have any tickets available anymore for today. The masses poured into the tent and the rain hit our clothes. My trousers got soaked and stuck to my legs. It felt rather unpleasant. We were standing at the counter and of course no one was there who wanted to sell two tickets. Somehow I didn’t want to give up and go home. I was convinced that there had to be a solution. There were two couples who came one after the other to ask for a ticket.

The rain got even heavier and both of us pressed closer against the counter to get shelter from the rain. There was a lady in front of the counter that was holding two tickets. I thought that maybe she was our solution but she didn’t want to sell them and she was just waiting for a friend.

It was only 10 minutes to the start of the show when the lady next to us started talking to her friend on the phone to realize that her friend wasn’t going to come. Now our opportunity showed. The problem was that she only wanted to sell one ticket. I asked my youngest if he wanted to go without me with the promise that I would pick him up after the show. He didn’t want to go without me.

Again no solution in sight. The lady asked at the counter whether she could return her ticket and the cashier said that unfortunately that wasn’t possible. At the same time she looked at the two of us, soaked and asked whether it wouldn’t bother us if we had two seats with restricted view since wheelchair users would be in front of us. We said that that wouldn’t bother us at all and we purchased the last two tickets.

Thus the whole tent was genuinely filled to the last seat and the lady next to us was also able to sell her ticket. That’s how we ended up in the first row, in seats that we had never sat in before. To our surprise there weren’t any wheelchair users in front of us. A phenomenal seat, a phenomenal view.

It was a fantastic evening. We laughed wildly with Giacobbo/Müller. Their number where they illustrated a mother and her 50-year-old child at the circus was just out of this world. The acrobatics were breathtaking and we couldn’t agree with who was the best one because all of them had been so frighteningly perfect. We enjoyed the animals in the manege, I know that is a debated topic. Today Circus Knie has parrots instead of elephants. We missed the elephants. All animals gave the impression that they had fun and their relationship with their animal care professionals was very close. Regardless of whether it was a pig, horse, pony or parrott.

My grand uncle had a drake called Gustav. Gustav followed my grand uncle around and even travelled on the tram with him. My grand uncle loved Gustav and Gustav loved my grand uncle. Watching them was a great joy. Additionally, Gustav was a hidden political statement of my Grand uncle because at the time the chairman of the communist party was also called Gustav Enterich(Drake in German). And so my grand uncle could always freely and without a risk talk about ‘Gustav’. Everything that my grand uncle taught Gustav could be seen as not species-appropriate but both always seemed very happy together. But then why not in the circus?

But let’s go back to ‘Knie’. Back to the circus. The magic of that evening is unmistakable. And because it is possible to leave daily life, worries and work aside, we need the circus also for the next 100 years. And why not ‘Circus Knie’.

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