What’s it all about?
Take every act you might expect from your traditional circus show, add in a healthy wallop of those you might not, and garnish with the visual spectacle of dazzling West End lights, pounding soundtracks and theatricalised staging. Don’t try any of it at home.
What you’ll find you’ve whipped up is Cirque Berserk!, a high calibre, blockbusting romp which elicits cries of surprise, fear and joy at every turn. The wonder of the show still derives from the performers’ astounding feats of seemingly super-human strength and skill, but their adaptation to a heightened level of West End staging is seamless and wholly reinvigorating for the premise.
Who’s in it?
Unless you’re an aficionado of the big top, no names on the billing are likely to leap out at you, but their levels of awe-inducing talent, dedication and sheer showmanship almost certainly will.
Boasting acts from all four corners of the globe, hailing from exotic countries including Argentina, Mongolia and… err… Scotland, all of your old favourites are here, from contortionists to jugglers, springboard troupes to flying acrobats, with a handful of novel acts also waiting in the wings. It’s eclectic and it’s electrifying.
What should I look out for?
Your jaw involuntarily dropping. In a showcase of gobsmacking showstopper after showstopper, it’s tough to pick out the highlights, but a fiery opening to the second half quite literally warmed the audience right back up in their seats, while the subsequent foot-juggling left us stuttering in disbelief – how?!
The pinnacle, however, comes fittingly with the finale. Without wishing to give too much away, the ominous Globe of Terror, lingering on stage throughout in a manner that would make Chekhov proud, makes full use of some arresting staging and petrol fume-laden air to undeniably score the final word.
For those of a more nervous disposition, you’ll probably want to look out for another section – the knife-throwing segment – for slightly different reasons. Cue much in-seat squirming, peeking through fingers and out-loud oohing from even the sturdiest of spectators.
In a nutshell?
Sit back, relax (if you can, heart-stopping moments aside) and let yourself be entertained. Cirque Berserk! is a circus extravaganza easy to watch, even easier to enjoy, and impossible to tear your eyes from.
What’s being said on Twitter?
— Laura Hamilton (@laurahamiltontv) February 9, 2016
— Kirsty Hunter (@k3hunter) February 9, 2016
Will I like it?
If you come in expecting white face paint and big red noses, think again. An innovative redeployment of the traditional circus, this is a show which generates an atmosphere so abundantly ripe with infectious enthusiasm, you’re almost guaranteed to come away grinning. Throw in some slapstick comedy and audience participation for all ages to enjoy, and Cirque Berserk! is a night on the West End offering a little bit of just about everything.