The crowd, buy their tickets, file into the big top and take their seats.
‘The circus is open!’ announces the Master of Ceremonies.
The band starts up for each act: the trapeze artists soar above, the lion tamer whips his lions into action, the juggler tosses his fire torches, the knife thrower aims at his target, the contortionist bends and flexes her body, in trick riding stunts are performed with horses, then plate spinning gyroscopic motion on poles, and of course there are the clowns on stilts or those on a unicycle, and some who mime pranks.
The crowd is raucous: ‘More! More!’ they shout.
But in the end the lights have to go out, and the crowd leave the big top into the starry night.