There is no doubt that the circus industry has been as hard hit as the rest of the entertainment world with some shows being off the road for a year while mothers have done their best to keep going amid all the restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
What of this year? There is a feeling among many proprietors that nothing much is going to change before the summer but that there will be shows on the road for the second half of the tenting season and that could also mean that the traditional summer shows at Blackpool and Great Yarmouth could also be back.
Tony Hopkins has run circuses for four decades and is hoping to be on the road again during 2021 with his much-acclaimed Circus Montini show.
“Most people are quite cautious,” he said. “In many ways it is easier for the small family circuses because they are usually multi-talented people who can put on a performance without having to engage people from outside.
“The bigger shows are not like that, almost all of them engage acts and staff from overseas. That can be complicated enough when you have to sort permits and so on but if suddenly you find that your season is ended because of the pandemic you have a really big problem on your hands. You cannot just carry on so you have to return to winter quarters and that means no income but a number of people from overseas who have become your responsibility.
“So, I can understand why everyone has their transport and equipment painted and ready to go but most are still waiting to actually go through the gates and out onto the road.”