On a roundabout tour with Fossett’s Circus, Ireland’s National Circus

A well about Irish native should know that every once upon a time in town, Fossett’s Circus travelling Big Top and caravanserai company are home to a family of showmen and women that work hand in hand to create a spectacular production of thrills, skills and laughter. Underneath here the Big Ole White & Blue, something magic is always about to happen.

Picture Credit: John Eivers

Magic like blue elephants and unicorns, you may figure. You got that right. The Fossetts can make a performing arts castle magically appear and disappear once every 3 days. That’s big long heavy cargo to just have it teleported from one post office to the next. It has to be built up and pulled down by hand, then poof! It magically reappears before your eyes, all shiny, white and blue. The Circus sets up camp on traditional fair greens and quaint pastures. Rain or shine, you’re in for wonderful time.

Do nip across town to see the show one of these days. They travel around the provinces and back, then up North to double the fun. You’ll meet multi-talented guys like Edward and his younger brother Owen, you’ll meet their sisters, the wonderful Sarah and Sonya. The fantastic four are the new generation of Fossett family performing artists. You’ll not necessarily see Sonya, she’s the Eye in the Sky, the lights and sounds designer. She may see you, still. Don’t look now, she’s watching.

Fossetts take great pride in family values, it’s a lesson in ties and bonds with your loved ones. The family is extensive, most of the Fossetts are involved with the Circus, either travelling with Fossett’s Circus or other Circuses around the world. They’ve been doing it for 5 generations now. That’s so 19th century, you may reckon, yet time stands still here at the Circus whenever something out of this world happens.

The musical Ms. Marion Fossett is the Circus’ ringmistress extraordinaire. She’s the voice of the show, a professional singer and songwriter that loves to entertain an audience. You can trust Ms. Marion Fossett for a most remarkable story about a new generation of circus performers that outperform themselves each time. Everything must look, sound, feel, smell, taste special. Everything has to be fab every time. Skilled acrobats will always perform great acts. What will surprise you is the new generation:

Fossett’s Circus Class of 2015

Wong Dan on trapese

Artists like Owen Fossett, the master Diablo juggler, or French duo Alexander Santus and his sister, Bettina, performing a bicycle and unicycle act with equilibristics, or Sarah Fossett, performing delicate aerial silk acrobatics, or Wong Dan, an Asian acrobat graduated from Acrobatics School in China performing on ring perch and trapese.

Dolly Crețu and her wonderful Troupe

You’ll definitely notice Dolly Crețu and her Troupe: Cristi, Gabi, Alin, Nini & Gina, performing an aerial springboard act with great flair.

Fifi juggling for practice, Gabi photobombing for fun

Maybe catch a glimpse of Fifi and Gabi’s back and forth fire juggling number, it’s hot stuff, it’s magic, it’s the wow factor. What you see here behind the scenes is child’s play.

Otto doing a prank

Keep an eye on Otto the Clown. The trickster is schooled in traditional Circus clown antics, thanks to his uncle Johnny — who knows a thing or two about old clown and new clown gags.

See Suzanne Chipperfield riding in dressage a well groomed mariachi horse by the name of Funcal. She has also worked with lions, tigers, elephants, camels, zebras and various farmyard animals. A top equestrian rider, her cavalry is currently made up of three young horses in practice (walking, strutting, trotting) for a liberty act. Make sure you also greet little Timmy, the poney, he’s as funny as a standup comedian.

Wong Dan, Alexader Santus & Bettina Santus

This particular production will delight the kids. On the one hand, Fossetts juggle with traditional circus versus new-school circus styles. On the other, no matter the style, the show is performed beautifully each and every time for children and adults of all ages.

According to Ms. Marion Fossett, it’s the little things that make Circus grand. Like beads, sequins, fairy dust, make-up, costumes, postures, showmanship, team synergy. Such little things as 242 years of family history, a record of 127 continuous anual running shows, 5 generations of performers and performance directors, a multi-talented ensemble of artists that can wow you from here to the end of the rainbow. Times when Fossett’s Circus comes to town, you can bet the bookmakers you’ll find a pot of gold.

Nini & Owen after hours

Mind you, show business on the road is no leisure stroll. Top of the bill entertainment is about good direction and hair on one’s chest. There’s no easy way about the freewheeling Circus life on the road.

Silk aerials by Sarah Fossett

Yet the satisfaction to rouse a crowd is fenomenal for the artists on tour. The joy is real, the feats are impressive, the music is great. The show is frenetic. The lights, the sounds, the costumes, the performers, the staff. All on point. All on focus. All good. All made possible with the help of a hard-working family of Circus performers and a technical crew of dedicated around-the-clock merry sprite folk to make a grand show sparkle.

Hop along for the ride. Check the Fossett’s tour dates on their Facebook page and website to book a ticket or read more about their Circus heritage.

They’ll be coming around the Éire when they come.