Citing a lack of visitors, spiralling food costs, and other financial issues due to the current global pandemic, Tatty Mullett's Travelling Circus and Freak Show announced they would be laying off nearly seventy members of staff, including clowns, fire-eaters, human mermaids, trapeze artists, a ringmaster, and one morbidly obese midget.
The performers, many of whom have been with the circus for over 30 years, have been released from their contracts and are now free to seek out new homes, and employment opportunities.
A mobile jobcentre, set up close to the circuses big top, has had no luck placing any of the acts that have come through looking for work.
One performer, with webbed feet and hands, was told he needed to brush up on his typing skills if he wanted to find gainful employment, and to come back in three months.
“The decision to lay off all these hard-working freaks and performers was an extremely difficult one,” circus owner Mullett told gathered reporters, “however, I am confident that most, if not all, of my former employees will find work.
Though made unemployed yesterday, many of the former performers have already run into problems with life on the outside. A bearded lady was shot and killed, when she was mistaken for a werewolf as she sat in an x-rated movie theater in Soho.
At least 8 clowns also died when their cars fell apart on the M25.
Captain Tom Thumb, a 12-inch-high song and dance act, perished when he was eaten by a cat.
Some experts are skeptical that the acts will find work outside the circus.
“Look at a pair of Siamese Twins like Dougie and Brian,” said Mary Beckham, a employment consultant from Hull. “They have one set of arms one set of legs, and share a lung. They are going to struggle just getting around and breathing, let alone find time to produce a decent CV."
“A hideously deformed elephant man whose only skills are drooling and breaking wind, has little to offer today’s big corporations,” said Moys Kenwood, a recruiter from Ipswich. “He must acquire new skills, like learning to wash, bathe himself, and to eat unaided, or how to operate a forklift."