Roll up, roll up: the circus is in town

A $10 million development housing 88 people has been constructed in Nowra virtually overnight.

Nowra is the 55th town on the fifth regional tour of Australia for Michael Edgely’s Great Moscow Circus.

The circus rolled into town a fortnight ago, allowing time for performers and production team members to enjoy a short break.

Earlier this week however the paddock next to Stockland Nowra was a hive of activity as trucks arrived and tents were erected.

To an outsider the logistics behind the operation is mind-boggling.

In its second year of a three-year tour the circus is on track to be seen by more than the 900,000 who saw it last time it toured.

General manager Greg Hall said going by early ticket sales he expects at least 10,000 people to see the show while it was in Nowra.

“Many years ago we would only play to major cities,” Mr Hall said.

“But we found many people from regional areas were travelling to see the show. They would spend money on travel and accommodation and we thought it couldn’t last.

“So we invested in a medium-sized circus and decided to tour regional areas.

“Last time we were in Australia we toured 81 cities around the country.

“We travelled 72,000 kilometres - that’s one-and-a-half times around the equator.

“For the Russian crew members, it’s like, wow what is this, it’s quite a geography lesson,” he said.

The circus tours the world and has performers from various countries putting on 18 shows.

Mr Hall has been with the circus for 40 years, he tours Australia and Asia and said the Australian crowds “get right into it”.

“It’s the smiles on all the faces and the vibe around town, that’s what I love about being a part of the circus,” Mr Hall said.

“With a full house of 1000 people laughing and applauding, this joint rocks.

“Being a three year tour most of the performers bring their family, so we have our own school.

“We will have an Aussie kid, a Russian kid and a Kiwi kid all learning together, speaking many languages,” he said.

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