Coronavirus: Stranded circus workers 'determined' to perform

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Big Kid Circus groupImage source, Big Kid Circus
Image caption,
The circus troupe were due to start their tour in Morecambe when lockdown measures were introduced

A troupe of overseas circus workers who became stranded in the UK due to the coronavirus lockdown are streaming their acts online.

The 25 Cuban nationals decided against flying home when the restrictions were enforced and are living in trailers parked in Morecambe, Lancashire.

Big Kid Circus asks for donations in return for the shows, which are published on their website.

The troupe said they were "determined the shows must go on".

They are made up of 25 performers who tour from February to November as part of a circus residency with 10 other UK-based artists.

Their tour was due to start in Morecambe when events were cancelled across England in March.

Image caption,
The group wanted to return the favour to Morecambe Food Bank by delivering groceries

After the cancellations, Morecambe Food Bank came to their aid with donated parcels.

The troupe said it wanted to "repay the kindness" so they deliver groceries weekly with the charity.

Circus manager Julia Kirilova, 23, said the group "just want to be useful".

"We immediately offered our performers flights home when lockdown happened but they wanted to stay," she said.

"We always look for ways to keep going. We are a family."

People have to pay to watch shows which are broadcast on the website Circus Online, and the group also perform live on Facebook.

Image source, Big Kid Circus
Image caption,
Maikel Mota Martinez performs a roller skate act with his partner in the circus

Maikel Mota Martinez, 31, from Havana, decided to stay with the circus to perform his roller skate act with his partner.

"The energy we receive from an audience is something you can not get from anywhere else, the adrenaline is like no other," he said.

"Although we can not see a live audience, creating the website gave us opportunity for us to demonstrate what we can do."

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