Monday 21 April 2014

Fossett's on a high with 125th birthday

12/12/2013 Performer Wang Dan during a celebration of FossettÄôs Circus 125th birthday at this yearÄôs GloHealth Christmas Wonderland in the RDS. Since 1888, FossettÄôs have brought their own special brand of magic to towns and villages all over Ireland. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Performer Wang Dan during a celebration of Fossett's Circus 125th birthday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

THE ring mistress of Ireland's leading circus has said life on the road gets better with age.

As the famous Fossett's Circus celebrates 125 years in business, popular ring mistress Marion Fossett revealed that a passion for the craft will never leave her.

"I have been involved with the circus since I was an 18-month-old baby so it is a passion and vocation that is always with me," Marion told the Irish Independent.

"I have been ring mistress for nearly 18 years now and this is where I want to stay."

One of the oldest continuously touring circuses in the world, Fossett's Circus is celebrating their 125th birthday at this year's GloHealth Christmas Wonderland at the RDS.

The family circus began when their ancestor, George Lowe from Mallow, returned to Ireland having toured America with the famous Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

He began a new circus, bringing magic and thrills across the country. For the past seven years, Fossett's Circus has presented an all-human show and does not tour animals, as they dazzle families with an array of acrobats, clowns, illusionists, contortionists, aerialists and jugglers.

After a brief stint away from the circus in which she represented Ireland in the 1981 Eurovision as part of the group Sheeba, Marion's desire for the craft brought her back home.

When her dad retired as a ring master following 37 years at the helm in the 1990s, Marion was the obvious choice.

"I would describe myself as a mix between a state manager and a compere," said Marion. "I sing at the opening and finales, so it is my job to introduce the different acts."

Five generations of the Fossett family have now become involved with the circus and Marion loves being joined by her young nieces and nephews on the circus circuit.

Irish Independent

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