Stardust Circus welcomes all to the big top at Paddy’s Hotel

PART OF THE FAMILY: Trainer Matt Ezekial gives Massai a scratch on the chin. He will be one of the lions people will get to see at Stardust Circus in Bathurst. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 013118pblion1a
PART OF THE FAMILY: Trainer Matt Ezekial gives Massai a scratch on the chin. He will be one of the lions people will get to see at Stardust Circus in Bathurst. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 013118pblion1a

ROLL up, roll up – the circus is in town!

Stardust Circus will spend nearly two weeks in Bathurst to entertain residents with its fun, and sometimes gravity-defying, acts. 

This particular circus last came to Bathurst in 2016 and ringmaster Adam St James said the performers have come up with new acts since then, including a quick-change act.

“Bathurst has always been a very good town for the circus and we’re very well received here,” he said

“Even before we came here we had literally hundreds of phone calls asking ‘When are you coming back?’, so we had to include Bathurst on this tour.”

Stardust offers traditional acts, including the flying trapeze, aerial acts and clowns, but its animals are “the biggest drawcard of all”.

There are only two travelling circuses left in Australia that still feature exotic animals and Stardust is one of them.

“We’ve got lions, monkeys, ponies, goats, dogs and pigs,” Mr St James said. 

Showcasing performing animals in the circus does come with controversy, but Mr St James said people shouldn’t believe everything out there about animal welfare in the circus.   

“The problem is that there is a lot of information put out to the public that is not relevant to Australia,” he said.

“Australia has the strictest regulations when it comes to keeping circus animals out of any country in the world.

“We are heavily policed in this country … the majority of the places we go, we get inspected in almost every town and the field inspectors from the RSPCA have never found any problem with our animals, and have, in fact, always commended us on the condition of our animals and their living quarters.”

He added that Stardust is very transparent about its operations and members of the public with any concerns are encouraged to raise them.

Stardust Circus will be at Paddy’s Hotel from until Sunday, February 11.

Tickets can be booked online at stardustcircus.com.au or purchased at the circus up to an hour before the show.