We got invited to go and watch Circus Funtasia (Thanks to Karen from the Lancashire Lass!) and I jumped at it, for one main reason. I’d never been to a circus before now. I know the old fashioned circuses did tour around our home town when I was younger but we just didn’t seem to ever go. Then I got older and could go by myself but I didn’t really like the idea of trained animals having to perform tricks day after day so they passed me by too. Circus Funtasia is an all human show filled with acrobatics, aerial performances, comedy acts and a very daring “Globe of death” act at the end where stunt motorcyclists ride at speed in a metal sphere.
The show takes place in a classic circus tent with a central stage and all seating around it. We got given seats close to the front for our review and had a good view and occupied ourselves with popcorn and candyfloss before the show started. There were people walking about selling those fan toys which light up a million colours (and one where your child absolutely “really really loves it” and wants one “please please”). A nice smiley lady sold us one and I mentally prepared myself to be whacked accidentally in the face with it numerous time throughout the show.
The “host” of the show is a very loveable and funny French clown Anthony Lefart. He kept everyone really entertained and his acts are not all “old school clown” acts so it keeps your attention and is refreshing to see. He’s funny without being annoying and all sketches are interspersed between the acrobatic and aerial acts. His plate spinning on around 10 stands at once is impressive and one wonders if they make a lot of trips to Ikea.
My favourite had to be Duo Stefanali – a husband and wife team who perform a range of acrobatics and aerial performances. The sheer strength on display is just awesome, particularly during the aerial acts where they are hovering through the air on just sash and holding onto one ankle. You do find yourself pondering about how much training and core body strength it would take to hold both your own body weight and someone else’s mid-air.
The Other Half leaned over to me at one point and whispered “That’s the lady that sold us the toy”. I dismissed him. It couldn’t be the smiley nice lady from before. But I hadn’t studied her face properly to remember. Sure enough in the interval I realised it was her. The troupe seemingly not only act but pull together and help with bringing the show together as a whole and it gives off a very “family” type of vibe. We had a brief chat where I gushed how impressed I was that she could pretty much fly through the air and how she was from Bulgaria and had been doing this for 12 years. She was a nurse previously but decided on a huge career change and became a circus artist with her husband. If ever I get to review another circus act, I am going to ask if I can interview one of the performers and find out their life story. I think circus artists must have some very interesting stories to tell.
Elodie did a very good tight rope and hula hoop act and made it look really effortless. I found she’s been performing since the age of 4 with her father and uncle and she must absolutely love it to still be acting and performing many years on.
There are lots of other acts and they’re performed very well. You can see a lot of training goes into what they do and it’s obvious how proficient they are. I think Little Zs (and his dads!) favourite act was the Globe of death. 4 very daring motorcyclists ride at high speeds around the inside of the spherical cage and cross paths every few seconds. It must take immense concentration and accuracy to get it right and it’s definitely one you watch from behind your hands and not really for the faint hearted. I can’t think how much they practice to perfect this trick but it’s a brilliant act for the finale and ends the whole show on a high.
I’d recommend Circus Funtasia to anyone unless watching people performing at great heights fills you with anxiety. Its gripping to watch all the acrobatics as well as the stunts on the bikes. Tickets are very reasonably priced and the Circus is currently touring the UK. And now, in my 30s I can finally say I’ve been to watch a circus performance! You can have a peruse of their website here to see what locations they will be in through the weeks.