WATCH: Circus Funtasia swings into Sunderland

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The big top is up ready to welcome the crowds as a circus makes its Wearside debut.

The UK’s youngest circus juggler is among the performers who make up the Circus Funtasia’s 15-strong cast.

Performers from the Circus Funtasia troop wow the crowd.

Performers from the Circus Funtasia troop wow the crowd.

The all-new show for this season will run next to Sunderland Greyhound Stadium, on Newcastle Road, until Sunday.

Nia Jones, 12, juggles hoops, cubes, clubs and tennis rackets, while mum Tracy Jones is the ring mistress, and dad Julio Nikolov is an acrobat and leader of the Bulgarian troop.

She said: “At first when I got up I was scared, but then I got an adrenalin rush.

“I’ve been juggling since I was three.

The show isn’t just for children, it’s for all ages, and we’re really encouraging teenagers and college students to come along too.

Ben McManahon

“I started taking part in the show in the last year and I’m in the Bulgarian Troop as well.”

Ben McManahon, who heads up the publicity of the shows, said: “We’re all ready for this week and we’re looking forward to welcoming people and excited to be in Sunderland.

“The show isn’t just for children, it’s for all ages, and we’re really encouraging teenagers and college students to come along too.

“It’s a modern and fast-paced show.”

A foot juggler performing Circus Funtastia

A foot juggler performing Circus Funtastia

The performances feature acrobats, trampoline acts and the Wheel of Death, with the traditional face-painted clown scrapped in favour of a geeky star.

Minions will make an appearance during the interval.

Shows are at 5pm and 7.30pm today and tomorrow, at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday.

•For more details, visit www.circusfuntasia.co.uk.

A Circus Funtasia act spins flaming poles.

A Circus Funtasia act spins flaming poles.

A rope act display as part of the Circus Funtasia show.

A rope act display as part of the Circus Funtasia show.

Circus Funtasia site

Circus Funtasia site