Circus Wonderland returns to Portsmouth with shows commencing this week

A MUCH-LOVED circus troupe is making a return to Portsmouth after six months of Covid-enforced absence.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 3:31 pm

Circus Wonderland, based in Wickham, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with an opening show in Cosham this week.

Cuban acrobats, high flying trapeze artistes, and plenty of slapstick comedy is assured as the circus returns, led by Portsmouth-born Grace Arnett, who runs the show and also appears in the spotlight as Miss Grace Olivia in her foot juggling fiesta.

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The Circus Wonderland team is performing in Cosham this month. Picture: Paul Carpenter

The circus is already setting up at King George V Playing Fields, with a 50 per cent capacity to accommodate for social distancing guidelines.

Grace said: ‘We are so happy to be back in Cosham once again. Last year's visit was cancelled as we were in lockdown at this time.

‘We only managed to tour for a few months towards the end of the year before we were closed down again in November, and have only just been allowed to open again now with the easing of restrictions.

‘We would like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to make the Big Top as safe as possible – the seats are cleaned and sanitised before every show, we have a one way system, and the sides of the tent are lifted to allow increased ventilation.’

Grace runs the circus with her co-directors Kriss Freear and Paul Carpenter, who also appear in the show as clowns Kakehole and Mr Popol.

The circus troupe are hoping to be a popular attraction in Portsmouth for the next two weeks, particularly as there has been no live entertainment available for several months.

‘We are so happy to be back doing what we love,’ said Paul.

‘We have spent a long time planning this year's show as it is our 10th anniversary tour and we wanted it to be our most spectacular show to date.

‘We were devastated when we could not open in February as usual, and we have just been sat in our yard in Wickham, practising and praying that we would be able to go back on the road soon.’

Shows run from Wednesday, June 9 until Sunday, June 20.

For tickets, people can go to circuswonderland.co.uk.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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