The Cirque de Reves is a circus unlike any you have ever seen. It appears out of nowhere without warning. It opens at dusk and closes at dawn. You can wander for hours in and out of the various black and white tents. There are acrobats, illusionist, jugglers and contortionists as well as things that are not so easily explained. Once you arrive you just can’t get enough and when you return the following night it is not unusual to find an empty field with no sign that it had ever been there in the first place.
The circus is the stage for a most unusual competition between Celia and Marco, two magicians who unbeknownst to them had been training all their lives for this. Six year old Celia Bowen was sent to live with her father Hector Bowen also known as Prospero the magician, after the death of her mother. Prospero had no idea that he had a daughter but quickly picked up on her special talents which she had clearly inherited from him. Day after day, he would work with Celia encouraging her to practice and went as far as breaking her hand just so she could use her special powers to mend the bones. While performing on stage one evening, Prospero noticed a familiar face, Alexander, and after the show the two conversed.
“I was hoping you would be up for a game. It has been far too long since we played. Though first you must meet my project”
Celia was surprised when her father introduced her to the man in the grey suit and asked her to show him what she could do, but without hesitation Celia levitated a watch, shattered it and put it back together without ever touching it.
“I could take any child off the street and teach them as much” was Alexander’s response. And so the competition began. Alexander found Marco at an orphanage, isolated him from the world for years and surrounded him with books. Marco was to study and train although he had no idea what he was training for.
Celia and Marco are thrown into a competition of “imagination and will”. They are given no rules, and have no idea who they were competing against. Nor do they know that there can only be one winner standing at the conclusion of the competition. Of course they fall in love, which only complicates matters. For sheer entertainment, Prospero and Alexander play with the lives of all of those involved in the circus without any concern for their well-being. To them it was only a game.
The Night Circus was a most unusual story read by Jim Dale, an award-winning actor. It is a work of fantasy, full of magic and certainly entertaining, It makes me wonder how anyone can come up with such a bizarre story line!