There have been many circus acts to grace our stages in the last few years, but none as loyal to tradition as Cirque Beserk!. This is a real travelling circus (with its own dedicated circus school) comprised of over thirty performers from countries all over the world. Cirque Beserk succeeded in making the better known names look tame. What they arguably lacked in polish and shine; they more than made up for by the heart-stopping feats they undertook. The performers were defying death every other minute. No safety equipment was used bar one hair-raising sequence, which made for an out-of-breath thrilled audience. One particular performance from a hugely talented acrobat saw her suspended by just her neck – you’d need to see it to believe it.
The physical fitness of the troupe is astonishing, as they tumble, leap and roll their way across the stage and dangle, seemingly effortlessly, several metres above the stage. The performances were varied: from entangling acrobatics, to a contortionist performing archery; the pace was swift and engaging. The slightly repetitive and childish performance from a traditional slap-stick clown was the only interruption and it made the second act a little drawn out (although the kids in the audience certainly found it amusing).
The spectacular finale saw four motorbikes raging around the inside of a giant caged dome – when even two looked like a squeeze. This and a couple of hairy moments made the second act worth it but It could be a bit punchier with a shorter set (sorry, Clown) though children and adults will both enjoy the theatrics immensely. Overall the circus wasn’t as encompassing or as artistically executed as other more contemporary groups such as Limbo but there were still plenty of impressive thrills.
Cirque Beserk! will be performing at Festival theatre until Saturday, and will be touring the UK until September.