AN international troupe of entertainers have rolled up in Inverclyde as a renowned circus arrives for a 10-day visit.

The Netherlands National Circus set up its big top in Birkmyre Park, Kilmacolm, on Wednesday ahead of the opening performance on Thursday night.

Dozens of performers from all over the world have been wowing crowds with their sublime skills and daredevil stunts inside the circus's heated tent.

The Netherlands circus finished up in Kilmacolm yesterday and is now preparing for its opening show at the Battery Park, Greenock, this evening.

The Tele was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the performers' rehearsals ahead of tonight's show.

The circus is currently on an extensive UK-wide tour which started in February and will last until November.

The stars say Inverclyde is one of their favourite locations because of the stunning scenery.

One of them, Portuguese entertainer Desire�, performs incredible hand balance acts including shooting a bow and arrow with her feet.

The 18-year-old told the Tele: "We travel all around the world all the time.

"I like to travel and meet new people and I love being in the circus ring, it makes me happy.

"We were here in Inverclyde a few years ago - I like it here and the scenery is very nice.

"We went into the village the other day and it was very nice too.

"The show is going to be really great and it is a family show for kids and adults.

"We have really good acts - and lots of surprises!" The circus has 25 performers in total, from Angelo the clown to magnificent trapeze artist Miss Caroline, while aerial acrobats The Cretzu Troupe are bound to leave crowds breathless.

Another of the acts, Italian balance star David Roberts, said: "We like Scotland because the country is so beautiful and we had a great location in Kilmacolm and now here in Greenock." Sammy Hoezee, light technician with the circus, said: "The response has been good.

"I love the British audience because you get a good response when you are in the ring."