When it comes to entertainment, and circuses in particular, I want a performance to be life-threateningly risky enough to make my blood freeze –at least at times. I expect a circus experience to bring me back to the time when I could forget everything just watching artists performing on stage. Pure unadulterated entertainment. I want to laugh out loud watching elaborately clumsy clowns – and all that without alcohol. I suppose I have very high expectations and Cirque Berserk had a hard task to impress me.
The acts are variations on themes we’ve seen before –some more often than others- a knife-throwing Czech man called Toni who flings knives and axes at his wife. Ha-ha, who can blame him; but this time she was spinning on a wheel. An extraordinary balancing act where Romona and Matti fold themselves on to and around each other’s bodies and balance on each other’s limbs. A multi-talented Germanie Delobosq who was a drummer, a foot juggler and a master of argentine bolas, in duet with Gabriel – a very charismatic couple. With acts that require so much precision and training I was amazed to see all of them performed by ordinary looking people and not uber slim acrobats who make you want to get to a more austere diet.
The element of a good laugh was delivered by a clown called Tweedy. He is genuinely funny in his apparent clumsiness. But even through the laugh I couldn’t stop admiring the level of preparation and sheer experience that is required to be landing so effortlessly every time he falls down and the rest.
The pinnacle of performance for me and, I am sure, everybody else was the ‘wheel of terror’ – a blood-chilling variation of the well known motorcycle stunt in a globe. The metal globe cage is so small that it is bad enough to have two motorcyclists in it. We were all well surprised to see a third bike getting in, spinning with such precision that makes even Swiss watch look like made in China. It is such a dangerous act – they could have stopped there. But, sure enough, we saw a FOURTH bike joining the fray – I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The mesmerising, unimaginably dangerous motorcycle race in a metal globe is a must see!
The Cirque Berserk is what it says – a theatrical madness, brilliantly delivered.
We were joined by some celebs, including Luisa Zissman, Casey Batchelor, Stephanie Pratt, Nicky Grahame. John Bercow also attended, no doubt on expenses care of the British public. Either way, he seemed happy enough and very amiable.