Tiruchirapalli

The circus comes to town

Artistes perform in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday.

Artistes perform in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

As more public venues reopen in the city following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the circus, one of the oldest forms of performance arts, is hoping to draw audiences to its live shows.

The Great Bombay Circus is visiting Tiruchi after a hiatus of more than a decade, with a show routine featuring artistes from India and abroad. Its Big Top tent has been put up at G-Corner ground, with a seating capacity of approximately 1,000 people.

Artistes perform in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday.

Artistes perform in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

“As the demand is picking up slowly after lockdown, we have started touring southern India again. We have a busy schedule this year, as the festival holidays in Kerala and Mysore will be next on our calendar,” P.V. Prakash, circus manager, told The Hindu.

Started in 1920 by impressario Baburao Kadam, Great Bombay Circus runs under a new management today.

However, 2020, its centenary year, got off to a rocky start, when the circus shifted to Mannargudi, Tiruvarur district, after performing in Chennai from December to February.

“When the lockdown was declared, we were forced to stay on in Mannargudi for close to two years. The artistes were asked to return home, but a basic team of around 10-15 persons remained to take care of the props and the animals that are part of our acts,” said Mr. Prakash.

“We are really grateful to Mannargudi’s public and civic authorities, who provided us with rations and allowed us to stay on a government school playground,” he added.

An artiste performs in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday.

An artiste performs in the Great Bombay Circus show in Tiruchi on Monday. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

The circus industry’s fortunes have changed a lot due to new legal restrictions. “We cannot employ artistes below the age of 18 years, and there is a ban on displaying certain animals as part of the acts, which has reduced the novelty value of our performances. But we try to work within these guidelines and bring as many crowd-pleasers as possible,” said Mr. Prakash.

Great Bombay Circus is scheduled to perform in Tiruchi until August 16.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 4:33:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/great-bombay-circus-performing-arts-circus-tiruchi-nahla-nainar-baburao-kadam-big-top-artistes-mannargudi-rv-prakash/article65681857.ece