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Circus to return to Grantham with collection to support foodbanks after difficult year

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A circus will perform near Grantham later this month, while collecting donations for foodbanks.

Circus Mondao will be based on Belton Lane, opposite Great Gonerby Memorial Hall from June 23 to 27.

Circus Mondao are asking every member of the audience to bring along non-perishable items of food, such as pasta,rice, tinned items, cereal and toiletries.

Circus Mondao will return to Grantham this month. (48179305)
Circus Mondao will return to Grantham this month. (48179305)

Over the last 14 months, the group have only performed for 13 weeks.

In a statement, Circus Mondao said: "We are so pleased to be making a return visit to Grantham. We love coming each year and love bringing you a brand new show each time. You may have seen plenty of other circuses but you have not seen anything like Circus Mondao."

After starting their season in February last year at the same venue, Circus Mondao performed for approximately four weeks before the country went into lockdown. The performers all returned to their farm, based just outside of Boston.

It was nearly five months before the group could start performing again, and they did so from August for just 13 weeks before the nation was locked down again due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Circus Mondao crew once again returned to their farm, and with no jobs or money to survive on and no help, many of the performers lived off food banks.

Similarly, Uncle Sam’s Great American Circus, based near Grantham at Honington, relied on food banks during the pandemic, claiming they were 'overlooked' by the Government.

The statement continued: "From the kindness of local food banks that's kept everyone fed for many months, we are forever grateful. It is not until you have to ask for this help that you realise how amazing these people are who organise food banks and those who donate to them.

"To say thank you to the food banks, we want to give back, so we are setting up a food bank collection point at the circus.

"We received no help from the Government. Yes, we are a registered business but we do not have a business premises due to the nature of our business, so we were not eligible for any of the Government grants.

"Our performers are all international performers who come here to work on Visas, these cost around £1,000 per person, with all of the health checks, health charges, flights etc.

"Part of their visa regulations is no access to public funds , also they can not take a job outside of the entertainment sector, so, as you can imagine, this has put all of the circus artiste in a very sticky situation."

With the borders closed, the international performers have been prevented from returning to their home country and with no income or help, they could not afford the flights.

Circus Mondao continued: "There has been a government scheme to give grants to the entertainment industry. We have applied to the Government for the grants to help us get past this terrible time, but refused each time telling us we are 'not culturally significant'.

"Our type of circus started over 250 years ago here in the UK. We keep to traditions and give good quality family entertainment. Some circuses in the UK have received grants of over £500,000, where others like ourselves have received zero.

"We have really struggled and need the Great British public to turn out and support live entertainment."

The performance times are between 5 and 7.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, while on Saturday there are two shows at 2pm and 5pm. On Sunday June 27, the only show starts at 2pm.

For the Wednesday show, all seats are £6.50, and the booking office opens on-site from June 21.

Circus Mondao is fully licensed and regulated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and holds an Animals in Activities License.

Find out more on the Circus Mondao Facebook page.

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