Circus for me is something that I associate strongly with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I had never really seen many circus acts before going to the Fringe and since being in Edinburgh every summer, I have seen an amazing variety and it is something that never fails to amaze me. Last year, I had seen Cirque Berserk flyers and posters around during Fringe but never made it down to Pleasance EICC to see a show, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to see them at Festival Theatre this week!
Cirque Berserk was founded by Martin Burton, of Zippos Circus and it was developed in order to take circus into theatres, demonstrated by their strapline – ‘real circus, made for theatre’. And I have to say that Cirque Berserk truly achieves its aims in adapting circus into a theatre setting. The show combines circus artistry with acrobatics and aerial artistry with adrenaline (and petrol) fuelled motorbike stunt action; featuring over thirty performers with an incredible variety of acts, keeping the show engaging the entire way through with the audience waiting on bated breath.
Some of the highlights of the acts for me included the Timbuktu Tumblers, who are present throughout the show. They display very impressive acrobatics, playing with fire (literally) whilst they balance and leverage their weight on each other.
Every good circus comes complete with a clown and this part is filled in Cirque Berserk by Tweedy, who provides brilliant physical comedy and also incredibly impressive acrobatic and aerial skills. He is continually a sympathetic character within the circus, the audience root for him in his pieces as he plays the role of a janitor: sweeping the stage and fixing the illuminated ‘Circus’ sign, despite his colleagues attempts to thwart him.
The Lucius Team are a hugely talked about element of Cirque Berserk with their famous ‘Globe of Death’. This features five motorbike stunt artists riding around a globe at the same time (sometimes around a woman who is also standing in there!). I have to say I was on the edge of my seat during this part of the show and didn’t envy the woman standing inside at all!
These are only a small selection of the incredible acts that are available at Cirque Berserk, there is also incredible knife throwing, juggling and more! For an incredibly fun night, don’t miss Cirque Berserk at Festival Theatre this week.
PHOTOS: Piet-Hein Out