Great Moscow Circus performers are scouring the country for work

Cancelled: Animal trainer Rob Joyes with two of his three llamas. Mr Joyes said his 17 animals were unaffected by the show's cancellation. Picture: Lachlan Bence.
Cancelled: Animal trainer Rob Joyes with two of his three llamas. Mr Joyes said his 17 animals were unaffected by the show's cancellation. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

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A globe of death rider, a juggler, a clown and an aerial performer drove four hours to the nearest circus to find work after the Great Moscow Circus pulled the pin on its Ballarat shows this week.

The international performers are among 13 understood to have been left in limbo after the circus organiser, Edgley Attractions, went into voluntary liquidation on Monday.

“They’ve had four days of trying to find jobs, asking every circus in the country for work,” Cass, an Australian contractor who asked only to be known by her first name and moved from Hong Kong for the job just four weeks ago, said.

“If a circus in this country can fit in one or two of these people, and then another can fit in one or two that would be a blessing for the people that are here.”

Animal trainer Rob Joyes said the Great Moscow Circus had been due to undergo a “transition in its performance structure” shortly after the announcement was made to cancel the remainder of the tour.

Mr Joyes said the cancellation had had no ill effect on his animals, which include two macaws, six horses, three llamas and three camels.  

They’ve had four days of trying to find jobs, asking every circus in the country for work.

Great Moscow Circus contractor

“There’s things that can be done in a respectful way and things that can be done in a not very respectful way and anyone can see that to leave people without their wages from working last week, or to leave international performers with no way home, or to leave other outstanding debts … it’s not the way that business should be done.”

A member of Great Moscow Circus’ senior management said a “perfect storm”, including five months of bad weather in Melbourne and a provider being “unable to fulfill their commitments” had led to the tour’s premature end.

The person, who asked not to be identified, said all wages would be paid and international performers would be flown home when they chose, and without expense. 

International performers – some of whom had left opportunities in other countries to join the Great Moscow Circus in Australia – would be offered work when the circus relaunched in July 2017, however management would have to “retweak” a lot of things prior, they said.

“It’s just been blown up a little too much, a lot of communication has been delayed … they’re (performers) part of our circus family.”

A media release issued by Edgley Attractions’ Michael Edgley on Thursday heralded the show’s return in July this year with “a spectacular new production” featuring international artists, noting with regret the company’s liquidation.