World Circus Day 2018 – A school trip to remember

Today, on Saturday 21st April, circuses, circus schools and circus advocates around the globe will be celebrating the arts and culture of circus. As Fédération Mondiale du Cirque aptly put it: "It's a special opportunity to celebrate together, to get more supporters and fans of the art of happiness. Our possibilities are borderless."

This is the 9th World Circus Day, and it's the most important one yet... as 2018 is the 250th anniversary of circus! Marking 250 years since Philip Astley, a cavalryman from Newcastle-under-Lyme, pitched the first ever circus on the bank of the River Thames.

Gandeys Circus wanted to celebrate World Circus Day with some of the locals in Penrith this week. So we invited the pupils and teachers from Beaconside Primary School to join us in the Big Top for an amazing circus presentation and a thrilling afternoon at the show!

It was a union brought about by a charming coincidence, actually. Beaconside decided at the start of the school year that Circus would be one of the topics they study this year. They drew up the schedule, and picked this week as Circus Week.

...And who happens to roll up next door? None other than the oldest touring circus in the UK – Gandeys Circus!

Our Ringmaster, the enigmatic Mr Robert Price, met the group of 100 children outside the tent and introduced some of the cast and crew. It was a lovely sunny day, but the kids were eager to see inside the Big Top, so everybody moved inside for the presentation.

The kids were treated to a fascinating presentation, led by Mr Price, which covered circus life, the intricacies of the Big Top tent and how everything gets put together, circus schools, the skilled performers and acts... and basically everything circus! This was followed by a lively Q&A!

Of course, no trip to the circus is complete without seeing a show. So everybody stayed to see the Big Top come to life at show time – the lights, the music, the laughs, the thrills and spills, and the pure excitement of The Greatest Showmen Tour!

Emma Short, from Beaconside Primary School, left us the following lovely message: 

"A huge thank you to all of the performers and staff at Gandeys Circus today! I had 100 very happy children tonight who thoroughly enjoyed the performance and had a fantastic experience. We are excited to get back to school and learn more about the circus!"

We were delighted to have the kids from Beaconside joining us! We had a lot of fun!

Gandeys Circus is at French Field, Penrith, until Sunday 22nd April, before moving on to The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port from Wednesday 26th April to Tuesday 1st May.

All tour dates can be viewed here.