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Fears over survival of circus centre in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 10:50 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:50 03 July 2020

The Lost In Translation Circus Company which could collapse without support. Pictured: Massimiliano Rossetti, Annabel Carberry, Roisin Morris, right, and Eduardo Ricciardelli, back. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Lost In Translation Circus Company which could collapse without support. Pictured: Massimiliano Rossetti, Annabel Carberry, Roisin Morris, right, and Eduardo Ricciardelli, back. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The boss of a circus centre has said his company is in danger of collapse and has called on the government to ‘wake-up’ and support the arts sector.

The Lost In Translation Circus Company which could shut by next year without support. Massimiliano Rossetti, Annabel Carberry, Roisin Morris, top, and Eduardo Ricciardelli, back left. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Lost In Translation Circus Company which could shut by next year without support. Massimiliano Rossetti, Annabel Carberry, Roisin Morris, top, and Eduardo Ricciardelli, back left. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Massimiliano Rossetti, founder and director of The Oak Circus Centre, fears the company, based in St Michael Coslany church on Oak Street, will not survive until next year in the current situation.

The company has been forced to close due to coronavirus and, while it has received some financial support, it is not enough to stay afloat if the centre cannot reopen within the next few months.

The Lost in Translation Circus team as they prepare for their production of A Circus Carol. From left, front row, Natasha Rushbrooke, Roisin Morris, and Matthew Green. Back, Sara Berni, Lawrence Swaddle, Massimiliano Rossetti, and Annabel Carberry. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Lost in Translation Circus team as they prepare for their production of A Circus Carol. From left, front row, Natasha Rushbrooke, Roisin Morris, and Matthew Green. Back, Sara Berni, Lawrence Swaddle, Massimiliano Rossetti, and Annabel Carberry. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It is a double blow for Mr Rossetti, who is also the founder and artistic director of circus touring company ‘Lost in Translation’, which could too collapse by spring next year.

He said: “It would be very sad if we closed as we have created a real community. Performing is my passion as it is for everyone else who is part of the companies.

The Fly High Circus Convention at The Oak Circus Centre, which is struggling without government guidance amid coronavirus. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Fly High Circus Convention at The Oak Circus Centre, which is struggling without government guidance amid coronavirus. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

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“We’ve had some emergency funding and some funding from arts bodies, who have been amazing and we could not ask for more, but it is not enough.”

The Fly High Circus Convention at The Oak Circus Centre - which could close by next year without support. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Fly High Circus Convention at The Oak Circus Centre - which could close by next year without support. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Instead, Mr Rossetti has urged the government to issue clearer guidelines and offer more support for arts industry businesses.

He said: “The government needs to wake up and understand that every business is struggling and that every day is a butterfly effect which may have a major impact later down the line in six months time.

“In my opinion, the government needs to give us appropriate guidance on when we can reopen whether that is now or in three months time so people can plan. At the moment, the lack of guidance is making everybody struggle.

“It is a long period of time to stay closed and there should be a package to support activities. I do not want money for free as I love working and I don’t like asking for it, but more broadly there needs to be something in place.

“If the companies close because of the non-guidance then it makes me sad and frustrated. We invest a lot of time and energy into this.”

The Oak Circus Centre was founded nearly five years ago and offers circus training classes to both amateurs and professionals while Lost in Translation, which will celebrate a decade in business next year, is one the UK’s leading contemporary circus performance companies and has toured all over the world.


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