Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here's why you should see the Knie

It didn’t sound like a good idea last night. Sit in a tent with hundreds of sweaty people and stinky animals on one of the hottest days of the year? Swimming sounded like a much better idea.

But The Frau had already bought tickets so The Frau went to the Knie Circus anyway. Too bad it took her eight years to go see it. Because Switzerland’s National Circus is fantastic. And that is no joke.


It comes down to this: One family. Eight generations of circus magic. The Knie Circus has stood the test of time—and for good reason. Be like The Frau and sit down with a bag of popcorn or an ice cream cone and you’ll be treated to a show that is both magical and personal as well as daring and sweet (it’s hard not to fall in love with three-year-old Chanel Marie Knie and her tiny white pony).


Part of what makes the Knie Circus special is the intimate family feeling it provides—several generations of the family are involved in the show, often performing as a nuclear family (for example, The Franco Knie family does the elephant show). The tent is also small by American standards contributing to the small-town feel and making even the back row a good seat.

While the circus is local and intimate, international acts add exotic flavor, like the Chinese Diabolo Girls.  This year’s clown, David Larible, provides non-stop fun and laughter—without needing any of Switzerland’s four official languages to communicate. His gestures, facial expressions, timing, and musicianship are superb.


The Knie Circus is the perfect show for both young and old and for Swiss and foreigners alike. It travels around the country throughout the year, performing at over 40 locations, including the hotspot of Wettingen, where The Frau went to see it. She highly recommends it.

Achtung. Shameless self-promotion part. Did you enjoy reading about Swiss life? Then you might enjoy The Frau’s new book, Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known, since her entire expat experience could practically be summed up as a circus. Available at fine online retailers and on Zurich’s most famous shopping street too (Bahnhofstrasse 70).

3 comments:

Hattie said...

It's wonderful that they are still enchanting children and grownups too.I will have to tell my daughters about this. They will be delighted!

swisspostcards said...

Honestly I was used to old school Italian circus with elephants, horses and tons of clown. I think I would find this a little small.

Chantal said...

The Frau thought she'd find it small too, but instead she felt big since she was close she felt like part of the act.

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