Circus arrives in Bedford in celebration of 250th anniversary of founder

There is a special celebration for Circus Wonderland as it rolls into Bedford with high flying acrobats, jugglers and clowns - promising fun for all the family.

Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 3:00 pm
Circus Wonderland

The theme of the show will be a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the modern circus in London in 1768. It was founded by Phillip Astley, the trick rider who is regarded as the father of the circus.

Circus Wonderland has become well known in Bedfordshire after making annual appearances for the last seven years. The show is run by Kriss Freear and Paul Carpenter, who appear as clowns Kakehole and Popol, together with their co-director Grace Arnett, whose talents include hula hooping and foot juggling.

The circus is now at the Longholme Way site in Bedford from until Sunday, October 21. Shows are weekdays at 4.30pm and 7.30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 5pm, and Sunday at 2pm.

For this latest visit to Bedford, the trio are joined by whirlwind roller skaters, bouncing bungee jumpers and astonishing aerialists in a show that acknowledges 250 years of circus tradition.

On a piece of waste ground near Westminster Bridge, Phillip Astley roped off a circle to perform his equestrian skills, and also added clowns, acrobats and strongmen in between the horse displays. The circus as we know it was born, and this new form of entertainment quickly spread throughout Europe and across the world.

Paul Carpenter believes that the 250th anniversary is a big boost for the UK circus industry. He said: “Circus is our most exciting form of live entertainment. We should be very proud that the worldwide phenomenon of the circus started in England, one of our greatest inventions.”

Visit or contact the box office on 07531 612240.