26 November 2014
Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
St George’s Hall is in the centre of Bradford, opposite the Interchange and 5 minutes walk from the train station. We drove there and parked in the NCP carpark opposite the theatre, but there are other carparks nearby too. There was no queuing to get into the theatre, tickets were given with a friendly smile and we were directed to our seats clearly. There was a slight queue for the interval drinks but not as bad as you would usually expect.
Circus of Horrors might be recognizable to some as being in the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, but the show has in fact been running long before that since 1995 when it started at the Glastonbury Festival. This is evident in the pure talent of the acts and how all elements of the Circus of Horrors work together. We were there to see their The Night of the Zombie show which is currently touring the UK.
According to details of the show it is ‘set in 2020, in a decrepit and corpse ridden London, plagued by a swamp of Zombies and ruled by the undead…’ so I expected a story or play intermingled with circus acts. I didn’t really see any of the supposed storyline throughout the show, and to be honest I don’t think it needs a storyline. The separate acts all gel well together with the aid of Nosferatu; a very camp Dracula, and the Mongolian Laughing Boy who both provide hilarious entertainment with audience interaction. Some of the acts were zombie themed but other than that I didn’t particularly get any reference to London being plagued by Zombies.
The atmosphere of the show was set by a live band playing throughout, whether it be actual songs or sound effects and music to set the tone of an act. They were really fantastic and the show definitely would not be the same without the music.
The show started with some audience interaction that provided laughs, before Doc Haze came on stage. If this were a traditional circus Doc Haze would be the ring master, but in the Circus of Horrors he is ring master, lead singer, host and an act himself.
Without detailing every act (there are far too many!), amidst the live music and singing we were thrilled by sword swallowers, acrobats, balancing acts, aerialists, knife throwers, limbo acts, fire eaters, dancers and much more, all with an alternative horror twist. Even audience members were invited up onto stage to take part in a few acts.
The costumes and makeup were awesome, the lights and fire effects breathtaking and the acts unbelievable. I wouldn’t hesitate to go and see Circus of Horrors again and would recommend it to anyone that likes to have a laugh and be thrilled. Just beware of the creatures that you may find climbing over your seat from behind!
It is certainly an adult only show with nudity, adult jokes and not for the faint hearted or easily offended!
The Circus of Horrors: The Night of the Zombie are on Tour 2014 and 2015 see www.circusofhorrors.co.uk.
St George’s Hall. Bridge St, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 1JT | Box Office 01274 432000