Nights at the circus with modern twist

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Roll up, roll up for a look at life in the big top as members of the Stephen Joseph Youth Theatre lift the canvas on circus life.

Don’t Feed the Animals is a new show being presented at the venue as part of its ReachOut festival.

Stephen Joseph Theatre prepare for their Circus show.Jamie Lawrence, Mikey Mcculloch Holmes, Meg Woodward- Hay

Stephen Joseph Theatre prepare for their Circus show.Jamie Lawrence, Mikey Mcculloch Holmes, Meg Woodward- Hay

It is set in Sparkes Circus, once known as “the Funniest Show in England”. But not any more.

This traditional circus has hit hard times. The animals, including the much-loved Tiny the Elephant, have all been sold. The clowns are drunk, the trapeze artist is foul-mouthed, and to top it all, Cox’s Circus has opened up nearby with fancy modern acts and lasers. Missy and Zack, the amazing brother and sister high-flyers, face the end of their family business.

The arrival of a gang of disaffected hoodies seems to be the final straw.

An exploration of tradition and youth culture, with a bit of politics thrown in for good measure, Don’t Feed the Animals is presented as part of both the National Theatre’s Connections scheme and the Stephen Joseph’s ReachOut.

Outreach Officer and the show’s director Cheryl Govan said: “This is a fantastic show, and it’s a chance to support the talent of the future. Half a dozen of our youth theatre members have gone on to drama school – you can see them here first.”

It’s on Friday February 22 at 7pm and Saturday February 23 at 2pm and 7pm.