Cirque Berserk – Winter Wonderland

IMG_0014.JPGThere’s something marvellously exciting about going to the circus. The smell of the popcorn, the draped stripes of the tent and the communal ‘OOOs’ and ‘AAAHHHS’ from the audience. Which is why it was sorely disappointing when the opening chords of Cirque Berserk were not the mismatched tunes of accordion or organ, but the industrial grinding sound of heavy metal . Cirque Berserk have taken the traditional form of circus and twisted it into a futuristic theme which, while certainly different, means the magic and wonder of the circus is lost.

Throughout the show this heavy industrial music oppressively blares, while the performers are themed like futuristic robots . This style jars with the traditional type of circus skills such as hoop work and contortionists, but does elevate the Lucius team’s jaw dropping ‘Globe of Terror’ motorcycle act. This act can really only be watched by peaking through your hands and gives a new meaning to watching as show on the edge of your seat.

This relatively new style of circus acts sits alongside some incredibly talented performers including Hercules the Strongman. This impressive giant of a man manages to lift not one, not two, but 5 people in the air at once, as well as a truck driving over his chest. The only way his act could have been more appauld worthy was if he had been wearing a red leotard and twiddles a bushy moustache. Similarly, Amy Nash’s aerial hoop and silk work was mesmerising with Asam Ford’s muscle patterned leotards highlighting her strength and grace.

Overall, although certain acts were very impressive, there as a distinct lack of magic in Cirque Berserk’s latest show. The mechanical futuristic theme meant that there was no warmth in the performances and a couple of acts actually seemed bored to be here. There is no doubt that there were some jaw dropping performances and the company is attempting to bring circus into the 21st century, but sometimes a little tradition goes a long way.

Reviewed by Roz Carter