Circus troop forced to pull down big top due to Storm Eunice fears

Circus Mondao, South Wooten Circus has had to close due to extreme winds. Ruanito the clown who is

Circus Mondao in South Wootton has had to close due to extreme winds. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

A travelling circus has been forced to take down its big top tent due to safety fears, with Storm Eunice set to bring winds of 80mph to Norfolk.

Circus Mondao, which is currently pitched at Knights Hill in South Wootton, near King’s Lynn, has had to cancel its shows this weekend. 

Ring mistress, Petra Jackson, said the decision was made following Storm Dudley which saw 60mph winds on Wednesday evening.

Circus Mondao South Wooten Circus has had to close due to extreme winds. Petra Jackson, who runs t

Petra Jackson who runs the Circus Mondao. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

But with gusts set to reach 80mph on Friday, Ms Jackson said they couldn’t take the risk.  

“We arrived here in King’s Lynn for our first venue of the season," she said. "We had everything set up and had started on rehearsals but then we get word of these two storms. 

“On Wednesday night we were up all night making sure our big top was safe. The wind was horrendous.  

“We are located on one of the highest points in Norfolk and we are very exposed, so as you can imagine we were getting battered. 

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“We live in caravans on the site and it was like being on a boat in the rough sea. It was quite scary.” 

Circus Mondao, South Wooten Circus has had to close due to extreme winds. Ruanito the clown who is

Ruanito the clown was in dismay to see the big top canvas lying on the ground. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

After Storm Eunice passes on Saturday, Ms Jackson said it will be “all hands on deck” to get the venue back on and rehearsals underway to start shows again on Wednesday, February 23. 

For those who had bought tickets for shows on Saturday and Sunday, they have the choice to reschedule or request a refund.  

Circus Mondao will remain in Norfolk until Sunday, February 27.  

Circus Mondao, South Wooten Circus has closed due to extreme winds. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Unfortunately for this week, the show can't go on - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Ms Jackson added: “It’s not a decision we take lightly as we don’t want to disappoint people who booked tickets - but the safest option was to take down the big top. 

“But we hope people will still come out to support us when we reopen on Wednesday. Live entertainment has had a very hard tine the last few years with the pandemic. 

“We have an amazing show with performers from across the world.” 

Circus Mondao, South Wooten Circus has had to close due to extreme winds. Ruanito the clown who is

Ruanito the clown struggled to hold back the tears after Circus Mondao had to pull down the big top ahead of the arrival of Storm Eunice - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Circus Mondao, which has been visiting King’s Lynn for the last 16 years, includes acts such as the wheel of death, wire walking, hair hanging and dressage.