The streets of Belfast are set to come alive with everything from stiltwalking mermaids to sword-swallowing women, following the launch of this year's Festival of Fools.
The ever-popular celebration of all things madcap and manic is back for another year, running from May 2-6, with entertainers, acrobats, magicians and musicians hitting Belfast city centre to mark the festival's 10th birthday. Among the highlights will be the opening ceremony featuring the acclaimed physical comedy company Bash Street Theatre.
Inspired by Charlie Chaplin's classic film The Circus, the show creates some of the finest slapstick around, set to a backdrop of live music. And the surreal nonsense continues with Teatro Pachuco, which features a man with a saxophone for a head, as well as Dr Palfi, the world's only laughologist, who will be continuing his campaign to stop Natural Causes (the biggest cause of death in the world today).
"We are aiming to celebrate our 10th birthday in style," says festival director Will Chamberlain. "We have some old favourites, as voted for by the public, along with two world premieres and a host of companies never seen in Belfast before.
"I think that audiences will experience one of the richest and most diverse festivals to date and make 2013 a year to remember."