Trapeze lessons in London

Frankie Mullin takes a trapeze lesson in London one lunchtime and is (sort of) a natural…

Most lunchtimes I’m unlikely to be swinging by my knees 30 feet in

the air. In general, you’ll find me wolfing carbs in front of my

computer. But all that is about to change as I begin my mission to

reclaim the 240 hours of lunchtime (that’s the equivalent of ?10 days)

I, like most Londoners, ?usually waste every year: I’m taking ?a

trapeze lesson.

On the edge of Regent’s Park, Gorilla Circus has

set up the Flying Trapeze School, possibly the capital’s most

terrifying lunch-hour pursuit.

With trepidation I climb the

narrow ladder to a platform high above. I’m attached to a harness and

the net below will clearly prevent death, but, nonetheless, it takes a

leap of faith to grasp the bar and cast myself off. Despite there being

kids in the class, I make a massive fuss, hyperventilating: “I can’t!

No sorry, I just can’t!”

Debs, a Gorilla Circus instructor and

trapeze pro, manages to restore a shred of my pride as she tells me:

“Don’t worry, I’ve seen grown men crying up here. The first time is the


Take a trapeze lesson in London

With an undignified squeal, I leap off, swinging in a

wide arc through the blue sky. Debs calls commands, telling me to hook

my legs over the trapeze, then let go and hang, before making ?a

controlled landing I ignore her, dangle for a few swings, then flop

face down on the net.

To my surprise, however, this flying lark

gets easier and, on my second swing, I manage to get my knees onto the

trapeze and let go. As the blood rushes to my head I think to myself,

“Look at you. Yesterday, lunchbreaks were nothing more than a quick

peek at Facebook; today, you’ve discovered you were born to


With that, I catch sight of the ground – too

out of focus, too far away – panic, and crash spread-eagled on to the

net once again.

Andrew Strathan, 32, originally from Melbourne,

fares better than me; managing flips, somersaults and even to be caught

by someone mid-swing.

“I’m not working today,” he says. “But

this would definitely take my mind off work. And just think of all ?the

trapeze-related metaphors you could take into your next meeting: ?’We

need better timing on the handover’; ‘A safety-net for operations’;

‘Let’s launch with no fear…’”

I have to stop him, but I get the gist: life is way better when you do something exciting at lunch.


Circus founder, Ezra Trigg, 27, tells me his regular lunchtime

trapezers include a lawyer who creates imaginary meetings to come

flying in the park, and a host of ‘working from homers’. Some do it for

the exercise, some for the buzz, some simply to escape.


flying trapeze is almost meditative in that you have to switch off and

think about nothing else,” Trigg says. “And people get addicted; they

like pretending they’ve risked their lives that day.”

At the end

of the class, Debs shimmies up to a second trapeze, an agile, graceful

silhouette against the sky. She makes it look so easy, but I’m no

longer deceived!

So maybe I’m not ready to run away with the circus, but, hell yeah, I’m ready to use my lunchtime.

More things to do in London during your lunch hour…

Flying Trapeze School with Gorilla Circus, £22.50
Regent’s Park until Aug 22; Battersea Park until Sept 12: then indoors