An old-school circus on the modern stage

Cirque Berserk

Cirque Berserk

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Do you love the circus? Then this is the performance for you.

There’s no circus tent, and not a balloon-seller in sight, but Cirque Berserk at the Winter Gardens nevertheless captures perfectly the wild and wacky world of an old-school travelling circus.

Cirque Berserk brought a big presence to the Winter Gardens on its opening night on Tuesday.

Knife-throwers, acrobats, contortionists and of course your signature clown; Cirque Berserk is a constantly moving mesh of variety performances, with something to delight all audience members, young and old.

Highlights include the Timbuktu Tumblers, who deserved a few extra cheers for doing the limbo under a flaming pole and forming a seven-man human pyramid, and the Tropicana Troupe from Cuba, who catapult themselves off a springboard high into the air.

As an adult I found the slapstick antics of Tweedy the clown tiresome (repeatedly dropping your bowler hat just doesn’t do it for me), but the sound of children laughing in the stalls proved he was a huge hit with younger audience members.

Mongolian contortionist Odka gives a short but memorable performance as she emerges from a glass bottle and shoots a perfect bullseye using only her feet, while Colombian duo Jose and Gaby astound with their incredible balancing act, unfortunately let down slightly by a crooning accompanying soundtrack.

While my personal ‘favourite act’ award goes to the Timbuktu Tumblers (the sheer number of flips and jumps they managed to pull off during the two-hour show is unbelievable), it was the ominously-named Globe of Death which stole the show.

Daredevil motorcyclists from the Lucius Team spin at 60mph around a metal cage in a petrol-fuelled show-stopper that left crowds spellbound.

The talent of every performer at Cirque Berserk is clear, with the most significant criticism being that some acts probably won’t catch your attention as strongly as others. For circus-lovers, Cirque Berserk is well worth a visit.

Cirque Berserk will run at the Winter Gardens until Sunday.