Two circus performers have been missing for over a week from a troupe stranded in the small seaside village of Morecambe, Lancashire, prompting many to question the whereabouts of the old English ladies who are supposed to be around specifically for solving this specific type of mystery.
The Big Kid Circus has been stranded in Morecambe, a small town of less than 50,000, since March when the government’s covid-19 lockdown orders made it impossible for the troupe of 39 people to travel or perform, leaving them with no resources in an unfamiliar town. The troupe is made up of Romanian, Bulgarian, Cuban, Chilean, Moroccan, and English performers ranging in age from two to 92 years old. But, as many of the artists are not EU or UK citizens, the group has survived lockdown by relying on locals, who brought food and supplies, as well as the city council, who provided electricity and running water. As a thank you to the town, the Big Kid Circus had scheduled free salsa lessons with two of its dancers, Jhanys Corrales and Sandy Triana, but after the first lesson on July 13, circus owner Biliana Kirilova heard “raised voices” from Corrales and Triana’s quarters, according to the Guardian. The next morning, the pair was gone.
The most logical explanation is that they simply took off, one Kirilova seems to support: “We have been trying to do things to say thank you, everyone has been so good to us,” she said. “But Jhanys and Sandy didn’t want to take part—they had been finding it very hard in these days and just wanted this to be over.”
According to the Lancaster Guardian, however, police have their doubts: “We are becoming concerned for the welfare of Jhanys Corrales and Sandy Triana,” local authorities said in a statement. “We want to know they are safe and well as they have not told anyone at the circus that they were leaving or where they were going.”
Now I’m not a hyper-observant St. Mary Mead resident who enjoys knitting, gardening, and not minding my own business, but allow me to postulate as if I were: This all puts one very much in mind of poor Clara Wylie, a very beautiful, yet incredibly flighty village girl from St. Mary Mead who had plans to run off with the vicar’s son on the night of the Michaelmas bonfire. The day came and went and the pair were gone. Now most assumed they’d eloped, and, of course, I might have as well, but for one thing that never quite sat right—what sort of bride runs away in a day dress but without her trousseau? Weeks later, the vicar’s son returned with his new bride, a shopgirl from one village over. Turns out he had been dallying with both girls for weeks. We found poor Clara hiding in the abandoned barley cellar down by the spring, too heartbroken to face her embarrassment at being thrown over when she was meant to elope. Very much like the old circus trick of the lady who was sawn in half—two girls, not one, you see.
And if you’re wondering what that has to do with this, that’s fine, we’re still at the “stories that don’t really make any sense” stage of this journey, so allow me to quote Miss Marple in a way that doesn’t seem to have any connection to the subject at hand right now, but will eventually: “You think it’s one girl and it’s really two—and the other way round would work equally well, wouldn’t it?” If anyone needs me to come and give these cryptic analogies in person, I’ve got a passport, plenty of free time, and I absolutely despise minding my own business.