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The fun of the fair: Cirque Berserk review

Take a trip down memory lane and rediscover the magic and mayhem of the circus.

Love the circus but can’t remember the last time you went? Neither can I which is why it didn’t take much convincing to watch Cirque Berserk.

Leave any idea that this is the UK’s version of Cirque du Soleil at home. The theatre show takes the idea of a circus and spins it on its head, pumps it full of adrenalin to create an action-packed stage show, while keeping some of those much-loved traditional circus acts at its heart.

Produced by the founder of Zippo Circus, the show spits out one act after another accompanied with pulsating music, there’s smoke machines going off left, right and centre and very little down time. Comic relief comes in the form of a pair of janitors who use traditional slapstick routines (falling off ladders and all) to get the audience laughing – the kids will love them.

Kicking the show off with a bang is The Timbuktu Tumblers – a troupe of men who lure you in with their incredible acrobatic acts including building a human tower, jumping through hoops and a fire limbo. They’re thrilling to watch, never breaking a sweat.

Meanwhile the Cuban performers – with their ridiculously toned physics and poker faces – catapult each other high into the air while the audience gasps from afar.

The little janitor, obviously modelled on the likes of Michael Crawford and Norman Wisdom complete with a flat cap, makes regular appearances throughout the show trying to juggle and breakdance his way into the acts until finally he’s allowed to show off his amazing skills on the aerial pole – much to the delight of the audience.

In the second half, there’s an edge of your seat performance from Toni, the Czech knife thrower who hurtles knives and mini axes at a woman turning on a table and the contortionist is great, especially when she shoots a bow and arrow with her feet (weird – but true).

This part of the show also sees the return of the some of the previous acts including the Cuban troupe and the tumblers but I really enjoyed watching the foot juggler; my legs were aching at the sight of her balancing a giant cube on its edge, juggling basket balls, hoops and even a cross with fire tipped edges.

The Globe of Death sees not one, not two but four motor bike riders speed around in the globe. As their motor bikes light up, the lights go down and all you can hear is rev and vroom of the bikes as they move at speed around and upside down in the globe. Terrifying but thrilling at the same time.

A great show that will keep you hooked from start to finish – definitely one for the whole family and well worth seeing their little faces light up. Rediscover your childhood with a trip down memory lane to the circus!

Catch Cirque Berserk at Curve, Leicester until Sun 17 March and then at Northampton’s Derngate from 27 – 31 March 2019.

Curve, 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB.

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