Shock for circus as grand reopening delayed
PUBLISHED: 16:56 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30 31 July 2020
A circus which was set to be the first theatre in Britain to reopen after lockdown will stay closed for a further two weeks.
Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus had planned to welcome back visitors from Saturday August 1, but following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday morning, the circus will remain closed.
Owner Peter Jay said, despite their disappointment, they supported the decision.
He said: “We are all in a state of shock really, it seemed to come out of the blue.
“We were getting ready for our dress rehearsal when the announcement was made, but it has to be done.
“We are behind Boris if that is what he thinks is necessary.
“We will wait a couple of weeks and see if we can go then.
“We understand how difficult it is and everything they must be going through to keep this under control.”
Ahead of the planned reopening, the circus said their 1903-built venue was well-placed to allow for social distancing, with its many aisles and entrances. while opening at 30pc capacity.
The Hippodrome has been closed since March.
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Mr Jay said: “The shows are all ready to go and it would have been fantastic.
“All we can do now is wait.
“If we can get on in two weeks then that will be great, but you just don’t know with this virus.
“You just can’t tell.”
In a statement on Facebook, a spokesperson said they were calling those with bookings for the next two weeks.
They said: “We are no longer able to go ahead with our shows between August 1 and August 14.
“Shows from August 15 onwards will be going ahead as planned at the moment. “We are now in the process of calling everyone who is booked for any shows we have to cancel.
“We are doing this in show order so please be patient with us.”
Taking to Twitter following the announcement, Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: “My heart goes out to the brilliant team who had been ready to entertain again from tomorrow.
“We have to keep this virus from resurging, which means some tough decisions to protect everyone’s health.
“We can all do our bit to aid reopening by following guidelines.”
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