Circus Wonderland heads to Horsham Park

Circus Wonderland is returning to Horsham Park from July 7 to 11.

Circus fun
Circus fun

Last year’s visit to Horsham was cancelled due to the lockdown restrictions, but now the troupe are finally rolling into town with a brand-new show and extensive Covid-19 safety measures in place.

The circus is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with an action-packed show featuring Cuban acrobats, high-flying trapeze artists and plenty of slapstick comedy with clowns Kakehole and Popol.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The circus company are excited to be returning to Horsham Park, says company director Grace Arnett who appears in the show as foot juggler Miss Grace Olivia, where she balances and spins a variety of objects with her feet.

“We are so happy to be returning to Horsham 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. The circus will be operating with half of the normal seating capacity to allow for social distancing inside the big top. 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 has a strong family background in the circus and leisure industry.

Her grandfather Peter Arnett senior was in his day the youngest licensed boxing promoter in the country before diversifying into nightclubs, arcades, bingo and snooker clubs.

Grace was brought up visiting and staying on shows from a young age, as well as living in a home surrounded by the UK’s largest private collection of circus memorabilia and parade vehicles, the pride of her father Pip, who runs the chain of Crown Bingo clubs along the south coast.

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 who will be arriving in Horsham in their crazy taxi

“We are so happy to be back doing what we love,” said Paul who features as the classical white face clown Mr Popol.

“We have spent a long time planning this year’s show as it is our tenth 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.

“The circus troupe are hoping to be a popular attraction in Horsham, particularly as there has been no live entertainment available for several months.

“We are ready to put smiles on people’s faces again,” Paul said, “After the lockdown and so much doom and gloom and boredom, we think the clowns are needed more than ever before!”

Horsham Park from Wednesday to Sunday, July 7-11.