Twenty international circus artists are currently stuck in the UK after their tour was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The artists had been performing with Zippos Circus in a show called Nomad, which was postponed when theatres across the UK went dark on March 16.
At this point, the company still had two weeks of filming scheduled with the BBC, so they “hung on” for this, but the work was subsequently cancelled.
Founder and director of Zippos Circus, Martin Burton, said: “Those international circus artists who were able to get home did go home, but we missed the last flights to Mongolia, Kenya, Argentina and Morocco.
“As a result, there are 20 international circus artists currently staying at Circus HQ near Newbury, Berkshire. Zippos Circus is a family and we are all looking after each other.”
Burton said that overseas visa artists, including the 20 stranded performers, have “no access to public funds”, and Zippos Circus itself “fails to fit into any of the government’s generous coronavirus funding schemes so far”.
He added: “Therefore, I am spending my days seeking transport home for those international artists stranded here as well as persuading government funding not to overlook the circus, thus ensuring we can all get back to work when the time comes.”