Circus boss is just happy to be back

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THE MOSCOW State Circus director has arrived in town and said he couldn’t understand angry objections from local residents over the location of the event.

Paul Archer, the director of the circus, said he is delighted to be in Eastbourne this week following uncertainty over whether the big top would be sited on Five Acre Field or Princes Park.

Residents reacted angrily when Eastbourne Borough Council’s events team said it wanted move the annual circus from its usual site on Princes Park to Five Acre Field to avoid clashing with the giant screen for the Olympics.

The objections led to a U-turn from the council a couple of weeks before the circus was due to arrive.

The Moscow State Circus organisers had already printed posters with the Five Acre Field location and had been left in some uncertainty until recently.

Mr Archer spoke to the Herald when his team of 60 staff arrived in Eastbourne to set up on Wednesday (August 1) and said he couldn’t understand the residents’ concerns.

He said, “I have seen both sites, they both look fine and I can’t see what the problem was.

“There was all these hysterics from the residents saying there was going to be drunk and disorderly behaviour, but they really are way off the mark.

“For the first time since 1996 we are selling alcohol but only during the performances.

“We see ourselves as a theatre, like the many theatres in Eastbourne serving interval drinks. The Congress Theatre, Devonshire Park, Winter Garden all have bars and we are no different.”

Mr Archer said he was really pleased to be back in Eastbourne and he praised the council’s events team for the co-operation and support they had provided over the many years.

The Moscow State Circus was last in Eastbourne in 2010 and Mr Archer says he is looking forward to showing local audiences the latest show, which has some of the most impressive high wire and juggling tricks in the world.

He said, “We would like to say a big thanks to Eastbourne Borough Council for letting us come back.

“We have been coming here since 1996 and the support we get from the public here is tremendous. We very much enjoy coming to Eastbourne.

Mr Archer also said, “Eastbourne is a high class town,” but mischievously added, “with the exception of those residents around Five Acre Field who complained.

“The positive side for them is they don’t have to travel 20 miles to see the circus – they have a first class show on their doorstep.”

For more information about The Moscow State Circus, including performance times and how to book tickets, see Livewire on page 36-45.