FOR the past ten years, Circus Funtasia has been a go-to attraction for people young and old.

This year marks its tenth anniversary of wowing audiences across the UK, including Cornwall for the last nine years, where it continues to gain more attention every season it visits. 

The Packet was invited backstage during Wednesday’s show in Helston to talk to some of the cast and crew about what life is like living in the circus, writes community reporter Kate Lockett.

When I arrived on Wednesday, I was greeted by Antonio Candela who is best known in the circus for his fire-eating and laser light show act. Antonio welcomed me into the big top where some of the performers were stretching and getting ready for the show at 5pm.

Everyone was extremely friendly, although they were busy getting ready for the show. Ring leader Tracey Jones was busy making sure that everything was in place before getting herself ready for the start of the show. 

Ivan Mladenov, who returned to the circus following his serious accident last year was preparing the popcorn ready for guests to arrive.

During a show in 2022, Ivan was injured in an accident while performing on his bike in a stunt called ‘The Globe of Doom’ which consists of three motorbikes speeding around in a steel ball at more than 50mph. However, Ivan misjudged one of his turns and his bike crashed causing serious injuries to his face and body.

Now that Ivan has returned to the circus, The Packet caught up with him to find out how he was feeling about being back.

Hi Ivan, how does it feel to be back?  

“It feels amazing to be back, especially with all the support I have and continue to support me. My comeback is just amazing, I can’t explain it. I have talked to some people, and you know, they pick me up. Mental health is good for me this way.”

Falmouth Packet: Ivan (L) joined by Tracey Jones and Emil DelbosqIvan (L) joined by Tracey Jones and Emil Delbosq (Image: NQ staff)

And you have decided to get back on the wheel, how does that feel?

“It's in my blood. I am going to continue to do what I do and make people happy. I will stick with my ‘Wheel of Death’ for a moment. No motorbikes if it wasn’t for my Mrs I would be back in there.

“I will continue to entertain people for a little bit more until my 17-month-old little girl is ready for school and then I will rethink, but I still have a bit of time.”

After my talk with Ivan, I also bumped into Nia Jones. Nia is the daughter of Tracey Jones and Yulio Nikolva who are owners of Circus Fantasia.

Falmouth Packet: Emil Delbosq takes centre ring Emil Delbosq takes centre ring (Image: NQ Staff)

Nia has grown up with the circus, and over the past ten years, she has improved with her juggling acts amongst taking part in hilarious sketches. She is mostly known for her portrayal of the Harley Quinn character from Batman where she rides around on a hoverboard whilst juggling.

Hi Nia, can you tell me a bit more about your life in the circus?

“Obviously I have grown up in the circus; it's all I know. I used to go to different primary schools every week, back in the day and then slowly got into the ring and got into the ring when I was about four. I started my own juggling act when I was ten years old.”

So, what changes have you seen since being a part of the circus?

“This year we have been sold out every show, and it's great to finally see the show get seen. This year it’s great. We’re selling out a day in advance, whereas in previous years it’s been sold out on the day.

“If we could stay here longer, we would.”

“We’re a big happy family, most of us have been together for years. So, for example, 'The Geek' (Emil Delbosq) taught me how to juggle when I was seven years old, so I have grown up with him and his son Lewis. Ivan the guy on the wheel came to my dad’s troupe when he was 14, so he’s like my big brother. We have all been together through lockdown.

What do hope for the future of your act?

“I am just going to keep practising; I would love to try the wheel. It’s something I would like to do; I have practised I have been up there already, but I haven’t been on the outside.”

Not only does the big top tent hold special memories for the audiences across the UK, but also for some members of the troupe.

Falmouth Packet: Antonio and his daughter Luana, who has recently made her debut into the ring Antonio and his daughter Luana, who has recently made her debut into the ring (Image: NQ staff)

In 2018, parents Antonio and his partner Lucy Ladbrooke, who performs her arealist show during the two-hour performance kept up with circus tradition by having their 11-month-old daughter Luana christened in the tent during their time in Truro.

And in 2022, Emil Delbosq, the circus much loved and hilarious ‘Geek’ married arealist Rosey in the tent. Emil and Rosey told the Packet: “It feels like such a long time ago.

“It was such a wonderful day, and we were given flowers from people to put around the tent.”

Emil, who is known for his cheeky sense of humour on stage jokingly added: “Yep, we’re still married!”

Falmouth Packet: Emil and his wife Rosey, who were married in the big top in 2022 Emil and his wife Rosey, who were married in the big top in 2022 (Image: NQ staff)

Circus Funtasia remains at Helston until August 6th at Helston Football Club. It will then head to Bude from August 10 until September 3.

For more information on Circus Funtasia, visit: