1990s – to date
Moscow State Circus, MSC (managed by Gerry Cottle) supplied photos to local newspapers as part of it’s press campaign. On the back of a 1990 photo are the following statistics: “In a typical 38 week tour this mobile community of 80 people travels 2500 miles, uses 1000 gallons of fuel for transport and a further 400 gallons a week for heating in cold weather. It supplies it’s own electricity and taps into running water. The 4 king pole Big Top is Italian designed, with fewer poles to obstruct the view it is 40m across, 13m high, and 400m of 30mm wire rope is used to support it. It takes 7 hours to build and 3 to pull down. The marketing crew puts up 5000 posters and 500,000 leaflets each week. The box office has a radio-linked credit card system. In such a way the circus moves towards a new Millenium”.
In 2013 MSC visited the Town Moor with “Park Gorkogo”. The manager Paul Archer told of how the show was more modest than 2011’s “Babushkin Sekert” as the economic situation in Russia was now more favourable to artists. Only the curious wanted to travel. A crew of 60 with mainly Romanian ring boys, 20 Russian Artists and an English Tent Master, do 210 shows in a season. MSC prides it’s self for good acts, high production value and tidy rigging.
Note: Ian MacBeth is a circus enthusiast and photographer his photos which he has shared with this project give a good record of contemporary tented circuses visiting the NE.