Christmas in the big top? Catch the circus as it tumbles into Belfast

Tina Segner, Ken Fanning and the Tumble Circus troupe offer families a winter treat in Belfast's Writer's Square
Tina Segner, Ken Fanning and the Tumble Circus troupe offer families a winter treat in Belfast's Writer's Square

TUMBLE Circus return to Belfast's Writers Square this Christmas with a festive-themed spectacle of acrobatics, juggling and unique humour.

Ken Fanning is the co-founder of Tumble Circus, and delighted to be returning to Belfast with the troupe for their second winter circus, promising "a completely new show", with a packed programme of group acrobatic, trapeze and high-wire acts.

There will also be one popular act returning from last years' show – Captain B, who performs daring acts with a huge balloon covering his entire face.

The Belfast-based Circus company, which was formed in 1998, has toured extensively throughout Ireland, Europe and Australia. Billed as a modern circus, there are no animals involved, rather "ordinary people, doing extraordinary things".

At the core is a dedication to training, learning and constantly pushing the boundaries – 43-year-old Ken admits he still trains daily.

"The circus has given me an amazing life, where I've travelled all over the world. I love it and am still learning new tricks. Every time you go on stage, you are doing stuff where you could actually die. There is a lot of trust involved where you are having to catch people."

Dublin-born Ken describes himself as "an artist" and takes part in many aspects of the circus, from clowning to acrobatics.

"In our circus, we are all multi-talented, doing a bit of everything," says Ken, who started juggling as a 20-year-old, while travelling in Holland.

"I met some guys who made their living juggling and thought that was cool. I started busking before going to circus school in England and Copenhagen and got introduced to aerial [performance]."

As circus celebrates it's 250th anniversary next year, Ken believes the art is as popular as ever.

"There is something for everyone in circus, whatever their demographic. Circus also crosses language barriers."

And how does a circus artist celebrate Christmas?

"We will have the tent up over Christmas this year, so us performers are thinking of having Christmas Day in the big top with a private party," he smiles.

:: The Winter Circus takes place in the Big Top, Writer's Square, Belfast from December 8-28. Winter Circus Late Night Party on Friday and Saturday evenings features an adult cabaret performance, hosted by Leonie Pony from Ponydance. Tickets from