★ THE NEVER ENDING STORY ★
Circus Fantasia was created in 2013 by its director and founder Matthew Wingate. Matthew previously had worked for some of the largest and well-known circuses here in the UK.
Matthew left home at 15 to join a traditional circus, learning every part of circus life, from cleaning out animals, helping set up the big top, putting up circus posters telling people the circus is in town, performing as a clown, a fire eater and knife thrower. Matthew decided to focus mainly on being the circus ringmaster and became the youngest ringmaster in the UK at the age of just 17. He decided to also venture into the administration part of the circus, the not so glamorous behind the scenes work, including mountains of paperwork, booking sites, liaising with local authorities, helping to book acts and other paperwork; all skills that would come in handy in just a few short years time.
In December 2011, Matthew purchased his first big top. It was a two-pole big top from a circus in Belgium called Circus Monelly. This was the start of his dream coming true.
By winter 2012 preparations were well underway for the first-ever tour of circus fantasia scheduled to make its debut in February 2013.
Over the winter months, there were still lots of things to do, including purchasing more trucks and trailers, getting artwork designed for posters and programs, using litres and litres of paint making sure everything looked as fresh as it could be ready for its debut. A lot of sleepless nights working around the clock, hard work and determination all played their part in the creation of fantasia.
Circus Fantasia opened on 14th Feb 2013 at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. It opened as a very small show with a small cast. The first-ever show went as well as could be expected for a new operation. The only downside was sadly the freshly painted blue seating planks were not quite dry and after the first performance there were many people who had blue paint on their clothes, luckily they were not too unhappy and have since visited Circus Fantasia again.
Circus Fantasia went on to visit many villages, towns and small cities in 2013, learning along the way by hard work and from mistakes. At the end of the first year of touring, there was a huge sigh of relief once the circus had pulled into the winter quarters at the end of October, fantasia had lasted the season and it was a good feeling to be able to say all the hard work had paid off.
As we enter our 10th year on the road, there are still so many more improvements we want to make to the circus - it really is a never-ending story. Over the past 9 years, Circus Fantasia has had some very nice and very colourful circus posters - the main tool of the trade. capturing the imagination of the local public, as to what amazing acts could be inside the big top when it arrives in town. We hope you enjoy the posters as much as we have in creating them.
Welcome to Fantasialand - the never-ending story.
Circus Fantasia's first-ever big top
Some of Circus Fantasia's posters over the years