Reviewed by Cate Norris
The circus would never work on the stage right? Wrong! Cirque Berserk have creatively adapted and developed a theatre version of the circus that they call Berserkus. But surely there must be a compromise due to reduction of space? I hear you ask. Well you don’t need much space if you’re contortionist Odka, who likes to squeeze herself out of a bottle to do a handstand on her neck, whilst shooting an arrow with her feet. I’ve made it sound more complicated than it probably is, Odka makes it look incredibly simple.
Making full use of the space, the incredible Timbuktu Tumblers rolled and flipped all over the stage. They literally ran up one another to form amazing pyramids and then did the limbo under fire-fire I tell you! The Tropicana Troupe were another act who didn’t seem phased by their surroundings and happily catapulted one another through the air in a twisted game of catch, somebody please give those kids a ball!
There were more aerial acts, acrobatics, and dancers than you could shake a stick at. One aerial act in particular (Jackie) made me gasp, twirling downward with speed and stopping just before smashing into the floor, honestly, I couldn’t bear to watch!
The globe of death was another act I couldn’t watch. This is the one where motorcycles race around a sphere cage. It scares the life out of me at the best of times, but this time to make matters worse they put a person in the globe with motorcycles racing around her, needless to say I couldn’t breathe!
For those that love to watch near death experiences, there is a delightful couple who partake in a little knife throwing. Just when I thought that that couldn’t get any worse, knives were upgraded to axes and then inflamed weapons, thrown whilst the lovely lady was rotated!
Fortunately, the ridiculous Mustache Brothers regularly graced the stage to lighten the mood whenever it got too intense. They reminded me of the chuckle brothers meets Charlie Chaplin. They were slapstick funny and quickly became an audience favourite.
I have to mention Germaine Delbosq and my disbelief at how this gorgeous lady’s fancy footwork hasn’t been snapped up to represent her country in the world cup right now. Their loss is our gain and if you want to see her juggle pretty much anything and everything with her feet including flaming objects- that’s objects that are on fire with her little tootsies, I would recommend a visit!
Cirque Berserks timing is absolutely perfect, putting circus entertainers on the centre of main stages right where they should be. It’s wild, frightening, funny, dangerous, squeamish and alarming, yet, somehow the classiest circus you’ll see. You’d be berserk to miss it.
Tickets cost from £14 to £29.50 (booking fees may apply).
Cirque Berserk is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from 26 June to 1 July 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND