Last night we were kindly gifted tickets to Paulo’s circus which is currently open at Farmer Copley’s Farm in Pontefract, Yorkshire. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s been years since we went to a circus, and after a year of lockdown in the UK, it’s been ages since we went to any public show or gathering at all. So whilst I was only asked to share about attending the show in person, I feel compelled to share our experience on here so that others might find it useful if you’re considering taking your family to Paulo’s Circus in 2021.

Spoiler alert: We loved it! The kids and the adults!

Disclaimer: I was gifted tickets for our family to attend.

What Performances Can You Expect at Paulo’s Circus

There were a number of different acts at Paulo’s circus. From a very funny duo act, (not in traditional clown costumes) to skilled acrobatic performances, there was enough talent on show to keep everyone mesmerised. Here are a few of the acts we enjoyed:

  • The funny duo act
  • Juggler
  • Balancing Act – a guy who did tricks on an unsupported ladder.
  • The Fairy Princess, who walked on a rope and did other beautiful solo routines.
  • Solo trapeze performer.
  • Trapeze pair (honestly, they were excellent)
  • And of course the ringmaster

Personally, I am not a fan of going to any entertainment that involves animals being held in captivity and forced to perform for public entertainment, so I was extremely relieved to find out that it is illegal to have animals in a travelling circus in the UK.

Social Distancing Measures In Place for Paulo’s Circus

covid precautions at paulos circus 2021

If you’re worried about whether attending the circus is safe during a pandemic, I can assure you that Paulo’s circus have taken every precaution to ensure that they are following guidelines set out by the government.

  • As would be expected, there is hand sanitiser available at all necessary points including in the loos.
  • People wear masks when entering the circus tent and when moving around inside to go to the loo etc, although moving around inside the tent for other purposes is discouraged.
  • You can pre-book tickets (for the first time) with a maximum of 6 people per group, although you can take the chance to turn up and buy tickets on the day, however, there are only 25 tickets available at the door (see further information below).
  • On entering the tent someone is there to show you to seats according to your group size.
  • They have removed a row of chairs between each row of seats. So in previous years, your knees would likely have been touching the seat in front of you, now there is a whole row of seats missing giving ample space between rows of people. Even what that in place, they tried their best not to seat people directly in front of others, and went for a more staggered seating arrangement where necessary.
  • There are screens between the families sitting around the edge of the ring.
  • There are one way systems in place; you enter the tent front the front but have to exit it from the side.
  • There is no intermission, so drinks and snacks, candyfloss, slush puppies etc, are only available to purchase before the show starts.
  • With this in mind, the show lasts for approximately 1hour and 15 minutes.
inside the tent at Paulo's Circus 2021

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What Did We Think Of Paulo’s Circus in 2021?

We all absolutely loved the whole experience of going to Paulo’s circus in 2021. Not only were the kids mesmerised by the juggling acts, the trapeze artists, the flashing lights and the very funny clowns, but so were we. It was so good to get out and to go somewhere different. It felt like we were finally doing something fun in a normal way. I wrote recently about will normal ever feel normal again, and honestly, last night felt as close to pre-covid normal as I’ve felt in a long time. With the added bonus of extra legroom, and space to enjoy the show.

Obviously with all the rain we’ve had in Yorkshire, it was extremely muddy so I’d advise you to wear wellies or boots/shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. I’d heard that in previous years it can get really hot inside the tent, but it wasn’t hot or stuffy at all. They had good ventilation too.

trapeze artists at Paulo's Circus 2021

Where to buy tickets for Paulo’s Circus in 2021

Tickets for Paulo’s circus can be bought online here, or you can buy them at the venue, however, they only have 25 tickets for sale at the door so it’s advised to buy tickets online in advance.

It’s also important to note that because they have removed seats for social distancing purposes, they are operating at 50% capacity so again, pre-booking is advised.

Where Can You See Isabelle’s Tour by Paulo’s Circus in 2021?

According to their website, they have shows planned at the following venues:

  • Pontefract – Farmer Copleys from 19th of May until 6th of June. Book online for Pontefract @ Click Here To Book Tickets For Pontefract
  • York – The Roko from 10th to 20th of June. Book tickets online for York @ Click Here To Book Tickets For York
  • Tamworth – Planters Garden Centre from 24th of June to 4th of July.
  • Exeter – Darts Farm from 8th to 25th of July.
  • Newquay – The Circus Fields from Thursday 29th of July for the summer season.

For the most up to date information please check out their website or their Facebook Page @ThePaulosCircus.

I hope this honest review of our experience of attending Paulo’s Circus in 2021 encourages you to attend. The show is really good, but besides that, I think it’s time to support those in the arts who were also massively affected due to the impact of Coronavirus. Just like the restaurants and pubs, theatres and sport events, to have to open with reduced capacity is going to affect their income, yet they still show up and put on a show! If you’re on the fence, please go.