Post-lockdown circus comes to town for first time ever

A team of Universal Circus performers, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. 

A team of Universal Circus performers, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. - Credit: Supplied by Universal Circus

Clowns, acrobats and a death-defying motorcycle stunt team are heading to Dereham.

Universal Circus, which has never before performed in the town, is planning to put up its  big top at the Station Road recreation ground from June 9 to 13.

Alex Morley, producer of the Downham Market-based circus, said: "We're quite excited bout coming to Dereham for the first time - we've been wanting to come for a while but for various reasons we haven't been able to.

"We've got a very good show lined up, everything you would expect to see, acrobats, juggler and clowns, but the highlight of the show will be what's called a motorbike carousel."

Performers in Universal Circus, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. 

Performers in Universal Circus, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. - Credit: Supplied by Universal Circus

Mr Morley said the Dereham shows would be the first time they had performed this special stunt. 


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He said: "This is a prop that rotates, driven by a motorbike with a pole coming off it, with a girl handing off that doing various tricks. This is the first time we'll have done anything like that and it will be the grand finale of the show."

Mr Morley, who is from Watton, said other highlights would be knife throwing, aerial acts, trapeze and illusion acts where someone gets put into a box and appears to get cut in half. 

A team of Universal Circus performers, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. 

A team of Universal Circus performers, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. - Credit: Supplied by Universal Circus

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He said: "It really is a great big mix of stuff. Children, adults and grandparents, we can guarantee there'll be something for everybody."

Mr Morley said the circus was allowed to start working again from May 17 - if the roadmap was followed - and they would have sanitisation stations around the site. 

He said: "We'll be following the Covid-safe guidelines so people don't have to be worried about being crammed in together. We can work at 50pc capacity, so we can hold approximately 250 people per performance. We do advise people to book tickets in advance."

One of the performers in Universal Circus, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. 

One of the performers in Universal Circus, which is coming to Dereham for the first time. - Credit: Supplied by Universal Circus

Russells International Circus had been due to visit Dereham last year, but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The town council said 'early bird' tickets that were bought for last year's show would be valid for this year's event, and anyone wanting to use their ticket to rebook should call the box office on 07752 218805.

The circus has matinee and evening shows, visit www.universalcircus.net for more.

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