The circus has arrived in Market Harborough! Circus Mondao, which bills itself as a “traditional family circus”, is at Market Harborough Showground, from today (Thursday) until Sunday.
The show includes high-flying acrobats, a Brazilian clown, a trapeze artist, a juggler from Argentina, showgirls and animal acts including horses, ponies and llamas. However, some people have been in touch with the Mail to raise their concerns over the use of live animals.
“Nearly two hours of entertainment in a show not to be missed” says the circus’s Petra Jackson.
And after each show there will be a collection for Harborough-based retired circus duo Billy and Susan Wild.
As reported in the Mail in February, the Wilds lost their mobile home - and everything in it - in a fire at their smallholding between Great Bowden and Welham.
“These lovely people need our help” said Petra. “We will be collecting money to go towards them rebuilding their lives. They have lost so much.”
But not everyone is pleased that the circus is coming to a field near Market Harborough.
Members of Leicester Animal Rights had a stall in Market Harborough last weekend, to highlight the fact that the circus had animal acts.
The group’s Dina Aherne said the aim was to “discourage people from attending”.
“In essence, circuses mean slavery for the animals” she told the Mail.
The Circus’s Petra Jackson said the Circus was licensed and regulated by the Government.
“Our standards of welfare are very, very high” she said. “People can come and see our animals out grazing in the fields between shows.
A message on the Circus Mondao website says their animals are their pets, and “we love to show them off to you”.
Petra said: “What’s the difference between a circus like us and horses in a dressage or show jumping competition, or even all the animals at the County Show, which is also on this showground?”
“Oh, but we’re not just picking on circuses” said Dina of Leicester Animal Rights.
“If you’re asking ‘do we object to dressage events and showjumping events too?’, then yes, we absolutely do.
“We also campaign outside betting shops, because we’re against horse and greyhound racing.
“We’re against live reindeer being used at Christmas events.
“We think the whole dairy industry is very exploitative. We’re certainly not just singling out circuses. We’re against any exploitation of animals.”
Circus Mondao has seven more shows at Market Harborough Showground, which is off Gallow Field Road, postcode LE16 7RP.
There are shows today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm and 7.30pm.
There are also two shows on Saturday, March 18 at 2pm and 5pm, and one show on Sunday, March 19 at 2pm.
Tickets from £10, with discounts available on Facebook.