Acrobats, lions, big top: Stardust Circus is in Raymond Terrace

Acrobatic feats, performing animals and other circus favourites has been wowing audiences in Raymond Terrace.

Stardust Circus, Australia’s largest animal circus, finished a stint in Anna Bay on Monday and popped up in Raymond Terrace on Wednesday, April 19.

“This year we’ve been as far north as Coffs Harbour, now we’re on our way back to Sydney,” ringmaster Adam St James said.

“We’ve had lots of changes since we were last in Raymond Terrace about three years ago.

“We have all new acts in the show, a change of program and we have a new quick change act from Germany.”

This act, believed to be the only one of its kind in Australia, is where the performer changes clothes in mere seconds in front of the audience.

Stardust circus features flying trapeze, aerialists, acrobats, a 12-person teeter board act and international artists.

Acrobat Gene West is one of the circus performers.

With his nephews Cassius Wests, aged 11, and Wyatt West, 6, the trio perform a floor-based acrobatic act.

The trio call themselves Nyugati, which means west in Hungarian.

They perform somersaults and ground aerobatics. 

Wyatt is still learning the ropes, but one of the stunts his cousin Cassius does is balance one-handed on his uncle’s forehead.

One of Stardust’s major attractions, however, is the exotic animals.

Stardust and Lennon Bros Circus are Australia’s last two remaining circuses featuring exotic animals.

Stardust tours with six lions, 13 horses, six monkeys, three goats, two pigs and five dogs.

They are reared and trained by, plus appear in the show with, Matthew Ezekial.

Mr Ezekial said a lot of training and patience goes into getting the animals to perform.

And a lot of chicken to entice the lions into performing on queue.

“We start training them young and on basic things,” he said about training the lions.

“We figure out what they’re good at. Like, Nairobi is good at walking on her back legs.

“The boys are lazy, so we have to work on that.

“The lions definitely get a good reaction from the crowd; you’ll get gasps.”

Stardust Circus is set up on the field behind Raymond Terrace MarketPlace.

Tickets, available by calling 0418 247 287 or 0428 247 287 or from the circus one hour before show times, cost between $25 and $35 for children and $35-$45 for adults, depending on seating.

Children under 2 years are free if they sit on a parent’s lap.

The Examiner has one family pass (two adult, two children’s tickets) plus a pass for one adult and one child to give away to a performance this weekend (between April 28-30).

The circus will wrap up in Raymond Terrace on Sunday, April 30.

The final performances will be held on Friday (7pm), Saturday (4pm and 7pm) and Sunday (11am).

To win a pass, send your name and daytime contact number in an email titled “Circus” to ellie-marie.watts@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

The winner of the two passes will be notified by noon on Friday, April 28.

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