The circus comes home

How the pandemic made the oldest circus troupe go virtual

By   |  Published: 2nd Oct 2020  6:44 pm

The story of how Rambo Circus has managed to survive through every curveball life threw at them is one that talks of an indefatigable spirit. First established in 1991 by PT Dilip by merging three circuses — Arena Circus Kozhikode, the Great Oriental Circus and Victoria Circus from Thalassery, the circus which has been around for two decades faced its biggest challenge during this pandemic.

Proprietor Sujit Dilip, who took the legacy forward, says the circus was all set to open its doors in Airoli in Mumbai when the pandemic hit. With no course left but to wait out the lockdown, some artistes left for their hometowns, while others stayed on with the troupe.

When the troupe realised that there seemed to be no end to the pandemic, they got to figuring out how to put up a show while struggling to survive. “We were helped out by local groups who gave us grains and monetary support, but the fundraising site Ketto was also helpful as we got people helping out from all over when we posted about our situation,” says Sujit.

Helped by long-time fans and their network, they came in touch with two companies Laqshya Live Experiences and Production Crew Pvt Ltd who came to know about their situation and got to work on bringing the circus online and creating a virtual show. Saurabh Khurana, Sr VP, Laqshya Live Experiences says, “It took us two, three months to conceptualise the whole show. We were already in the virtual space and knew the challenges. So we got scriptwriters, TV anchors, production crew on board to bring the circus into the drawing rooms. It took some 10 days of rehearsals while taking all safety precautions and doing the shooting over three days.”

The show’s theme revolves around the life of circus and is a mix of juggling, clown, dance, and acrobatics acts. The majority of the show is the same as their real-time version, barring a few changes.

For Rambo circus, going virtual has given them a new lease of life. The show has gotten such a good response from audiences that they have now set up more shows for the upcoming long weekend in October. “People are sending me WhatsApp videos of children dancing while watching the circus artistes. Over 60 people in our troupe have worked hard to make the virtual show as entertaining as possible and we are glad that people have liked it,” says Sujit.

Catch the circus live on www.bookmyshow.com .


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