The performers of Circus Xsavier put the final touches on their acts before this week’s shows.
The performers of Circus Xsavier put the final touches on their acts before this week’s shows.

Circus is still fun without Jumbo

AUSTRALIA’S oldest circus has arrived in Murwillumbah and is preparing for a series of performances next week from Wednesday to Sunday.

And while the lions, tigers and elephants have disappeared from circuses in recent years, Ashton’s Circus is still promising a fun-filled time with clowns and acrobats and a story-line throughout the show.

Ringmaster for the Ashton Xsavia Circus, Jan Rodriguez, who has been helping set up in the Murwillumbah showgrounds, is one of the fifth generation of the Ashton circus tradition in Australia.

She says while circuses have changed they still provide good, wholesome entertainment for the whole family.

“I’m the fifth generation in Australia and we go back to one generation in England before that,” she said.

“It’s over 161 years we’ve been in Australia now.

“My great-great-grandfather was licensed by Act of Parliament in 1851.

“You still have to be licensed today and there is more and more red tape every day.”

Mrs Rodriguez has seen huge changes herself in the way circuses operate, including the exclusion of animals from performances and the inclusion of more dangerous acrobatic acts.

“With safety harnesses now we can do more dangerous things,” she said.

“The tents instead of being canvas are modern plastic and instead of my grandfather cutting down the poles for the tent in every town he arrived in we have modern poles we take with us.

“My dad used to ride the elephant from town to town. How we do everything has evolved with modern technology but it’s still basic family entertainment.

“There’s not many things you can take the whole family to these days without being offended.”

Crowds can look forward to spectacular acrobatics, amazing tight-rope gymnastics, juggling, contortion, clowns and much more.

Mrs Rodriguez said four generations now take part in the circus. “The show is a new and exciting concept in Circus.”


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