ACROBATS and clowns are among the world-class acts appearing in a special circus in New Brighton this afternoon.

Ringmaster Robert Price will present the acclaimed Mexican clown Chico Rico, The Kenyan Warriors, aerial acrobats the Serik Brothers, Romy Bauer and Victoria Antipova during Circus Starr, which is at the seaside town as part of its UK tour.

Featuring professional artists from across the globe, the show was founded in 1987 to help raise much needed funds for local charities whilst providing free seats for thousands of disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children.

All tickets are distributed to local community groups and today's performances will take place in front of sell-out crowds.

Among the charities benefiting from the show is Claire House Children's Hospice.

Fifteen-year-old Samantha, from Moreton, is one of thousands of disabled children who will get the chance to see Circus Starr’s tonight.

Samantha has Dandy Walker Malformation – a birth defect affecting part of the brain that controls movement, behaviour, and cognitive ability.

Nine years ago, mum Mary brought Samantha to see Circus Starr perform and found her daughter’s reaction remarkable: "Samantha's condition means she is unable to sit up unaided, walk or talk and she is fed through a tube in her tummy.

"She can smile when she is happy and she recognises my voice and her dads and sister and brother, also her friends and teachers.

"The last time we came to see Circus Starr she lifted her head for the whole show and it kept her engaged."