Review: Cirque Berserk at the Grand Opera House

5 Feb 2015 @ 11.40 am
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A highlight – the motorcyclists in the Globe of Terror. Photographs: Cirque Berserk

Cirque Berserk

Grand Opera House

Thu Feb 5 @ 5pm & 7.45pm


Theatre website

I was a touch dubious when I was asked if I’d like to review Cirque Berserk. The promotional material promised a danger filled spectacle, thrilling stunt action and a troupe of over 30 performers.

I looked at it and was taken back to Blackpool Circus where I went last year and came away disappointed to say the least.

This evening far exceeded my expectations; in fact the only disappointing thing for me was the half empty theatre. This performance deserved a theatre packed to the brim.

From the opening act of Timbuktu Tumblers, the African Acrobats, to the finale with the Lucius Team in the Globe of Terror the audience were enthralled and entertained.

The Grand Opera House has a very small stage, so I was amazed just how well these guys managed to make use of it.

It added to the peril as the tumblers landed inches from the edge of the stage or the Tropicana Troupe of Cuban springboarders flew high into the lights above the stage.

Never a fan of the sound at the Grand Opera House I had no complaints this evening. Most of the musical accompaniments made me think of an old fashioned carnival.

The heavy beat contributed to the atmosphere along with some excellent and non-traditional costumes. There was very little Lycra to be seen this evening, instead the outfits were a cross between post civil war carpet baggers, burlesque and Caribbean parades.

Don’t try this at home…
Reminiscent of silent movie stars – Tweedy the clown

With so many performers on stage it’s hard to single acts out, every one did such a great job.

For me the highlight was always going to be the Globe of Terror which appears in both the first half and as the end of the show. The metal globe seems too small for one motorbike never mind the three they advertise.

I wasn’t let down. The Lucius Team blew me away with the addition of a very brave female standing in the globe as two bikes spun overhead and around her, and then we were treated to four bikes circling the tiny globe at the same time.

If you go for nothing else this performance deserves the cost of the admission on its own.

I’m not a fan of clowns but Tweedy was something a little different. It was more reminiscent of the old silent movies, and made me think of Laurel and Hardy and the slapstick comedy that they used to perform.

With a combination of excellent timing, incredible flexibility and skill he wowed the children in the audience, as well as the adults.

This isn’t a circus just for children. There’s plenty here for the adults, from lithe and scantily clad female contortionists to a very toned Cuban Springboard Troupe who left at least one guy in the audience feeling they needed to visit the gym to tone up.

That said, I think I may have to pay a visit there myself after watching some of the girls on stage, their flexibility put us all to shame.

What stands out through the whole show is the enjoyment the performers are getting out on stage. Whilst they have to be serious and professional for the majority of the stunts they perform, there’s a huge element of trust between them, and a lot of pride and pleasure on faces as a result.

This was an outstanding show, and if I were you, I’d be grabbing a ticket for one of the two remaining performances while you can. You won’t be sorry. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen and restored the love of circus that I lost as I grew up.