The circus comes to town? Really?


UPDATED: Posters advertising a circus on George Green next week have mystified many residents who say this is the first they have heard of it.

One Wansteadium reader, Justin, says: “I am not sure that we want a circus installed within the relatively tight confines of George Green.” Another, Mark, says: “I wonder when I and other residents were going to be formally informed of this? I think given the size of the Green and its close proximity to residents this event is totally inappropriate.”

The Circus Fantasia is advertising its events between 5 and 10 July.  One reader has speculated that the event might be staged on the Green rather than on Wanstead Flats because of the roadworks on Blake Hall Road.


A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation told Wansteadium:

“The City of London Corporation has licensed Circus Fantasia on George Green from Tuesday 5th July to Sunday 10th July.  Equipment for the Circus will draw onto the site from Friday 1st July.  The Circus operates two weekday early evening performances at 5.00 and 7.30pm and 2pm matinees at the weekend and should not provide noise nuisance in the late evening.

Circus Fantasia is a much smaller Circus than the large Big Tops licensed on Wanstead Flats and  Chingford Plain and should fit well on George Green.  No car parking on George Green is being provided as the Circus wishes to play to local audiences using Wanstead’s excellent local sustainable transport links.

We did also speak to Redbridge Officers ahead of confirming the event last year and are confident that Permitted Development Rights in the Conservation Area support temporary events of this nature.

Head Keeper Martin Newnham will undertake site checks ahead of the draw on to ensure the site which has received a great amount of rain is capable of receiving the big top and vehicles


45 thoughts on “The circus comes to town? Really?”

  1. How much are they paying to use the Green?
    Were the local residents consulted?

    It must be a VERY small tent, because there are trees all over the green. It does seem an odd choice to me.

  2. Have to say am quite excited. Will be great for the kids/grandkids – we’ll all be able to walk to it, great family evening out, nice treat. Surely be great for the restaurants on the high street as people/families will be able to go to dinner after? I’ll be getting tickets for sure.

    1. Usually the Festival & music in the park are for local people but this is bringing outsiders in with all the problems that go along with that ( mainly traffic & parking issues), not to mention dumped rubbish & damage to the Green.

    2. your more than welcome Vicky Allen as long as u don’t drive or bring any rubbish with u…:or damage the beloved green 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  3. I live in Wanstead I think it’s a great Idea for the Children It is only there for a few days I don’t think it will harm the grass Is there not a lot of sport played on grass Grass does grow .I will be going with my grandchildren Sorry they don’t live in Wanstead are they Allowed ?tAlso they have been brought up to put there litter in Bins or take it home with them and they will be spending money in Our Local shops X

  4. Calm down Wanstead residents – it’s only on the Green for 5 days. Wanstead has definitely become populated by NIMBY’s, it used to be a far nicer area with a great mix of people but now very much see’s itself as something “special”. Lets face it – your located right on top of one of London’s main feeder arteries the A12.

    1. Exactly Alison, those against such things crow on about wanting to preserve Wanstead High Street yet when something takes place that has the potential to bring business to the area they moan about that. I really cannot see the issue with a suitably sized Big Top on the Green and it’s only on for 5 days.

  5. it’ll be fun for the kids. it’s a very small circus. with no animals. just for 5 days. “bringing outsider”: what exactly does it mean? some people forget that wanstead postcode is E11. located on the A12. this is east london, not mayfair.

  6. The comments section of Wansteadium is always a joy to read, all the small mindedness and lack information about the topic at hand never bar to any opinion being posted. I do love this!

  7. The guy who runs this circus has “hit back at locals” in a new article on the Guardian

    I believe City of London’s concerns were that predicted rainfall would so saturate the Green that if heavy vehicles were to traverse it, such as would accompany this circus, they would damage the land because it would be soft enough to churn up.

    The guy who runs it also claimed in this “hitting back” article that locals told him they are afraid of attending events “late at night” on Wanstead Flats, thus he chose George Green. That sounds like a crock, to me. Fireworks and fairs do great business over on the flats at night. Plus, this circus wasn’t scheduled for “late at night.”

  8. Seems like a complete home goal to me – but the UK seems good at scoring these of late.

    Really, what harm would a small, all human performers, circus have done for 5 nights only? Talk about trying to keep Wanstead High Street alive yet when something, which could potentially increase foot fall for the local business, “comes to town” then the NIMBY’s are up in arms. So much condemnation from residents all based on pre-conceived prejudices with no actual grounding in facts (sounds familiar?).

    Wanstead, you are an absolute parody of yourself and it’s not the first time I’ve heard the Royston Vasey reference used to describe Wanstead. Remember you’re an East London ‘Burb’ tightly sandwiched between the A12 and the Northern Circular.

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