Breath-taking and death-defying are just two of the ways to describe the incredible Cirque Berserk, which is currently running at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.
When a show includes knife-throwing, gravity-defying somersaults, acrobatic displays from the ceiling, South American throwing weapons set on fire and the world famous ‘Globe of Death’, you know you’re in for a jaw-dropping night.
And Cirque Berserk definitely lives up to just that.
The 35-strong cast of performers is drawn from around the world, from as far afield as Kenya, Cuba, Mongolia, Brazil and the Czech Republic.
Throughout the year they perform and tour with traditional circuses centred around a ring and big top.
But for this ‘Berserkus’ they combine the centuries-old traditions of the circus with a contemporary approach tied together by a West End creative team.
And the show is performed almost entirely without safety devices (apart from one incredible display), which means those on stage are risking injury — and ultimately their lives — every night for your entertainment.
From the moment the show kicks off with the appearance of the high-octane acrobatic group the Timbuktu Tumblers you can feel the years of dedication and training that has gone into honing the skills of the performers.
Creating pyramids with just their bodies and gravity-defying towers, the group is stunning. And they up the ante later on when they return to flip through hoops and then limbo, just inches from the ground, under a bar set on fire!
Then there is the Bolas Argentinas — an act that specialises in a throwing weapon with weights on the end of cords. They are swung and spun at lightning speed just millimetres from the faces of the performers and cracked onto the wooden floor with bone-breaking power.
Incredible acrobatic displays from the rafters from Jackie as she dangles and spins from a piece of silk without a net leaves the audience in awe.
Other acts include contortionist Odka (I won’t spoil her incredible arrival on stage), whose flexibility astounds before managing to fire an arrow with perfect aim using her feet.
The Tropicana Troupe are a sight to behold as they catapult each other high into the air from what look like home-made apparatus and a giant frame that barely looks like it would survive a gust of wind. Outrageous!
France’s Germaine Delbosq takes centre stage and, as a foot juggler, what she produces seems impossible to comprehend. She manipulates everything from balls, tubes and rings, to a four-ponged apparatus on fire, with incredible dexterity, skill and panache. It is a sight to behold.
Knife and mini-axe throwing is shown off in all it’s death-defying glory by Toni from the Czech Republic. The team behind this circus say this act is ‘brave, bonkers and very Berserkus’ — take it from me this is spot on.
You can’t forget the gravity-defying tower of chairs performed by Mongolian master Zula, an intimidating robot and the Berserk dancers and aerial display.
But one of the most incredible attractions is the ‘Globe of Death’ performed by the Lucious Team. It features motorcyclists racing around a giant metal globe at up to 60mph.....and not just one biker, four are inside by the end.
And who can forget the Mustache Brothers — a Brazilian duo clowning around with perfect slapstick timing to provide a link between acts. But don’t be fooled, comedy isn’t their only talent, they also possess some incredible circus skills of their own.
Cirque Berserk is a truly stunning event and is one not to be missed.
It continues its run at the Theatre Royal until Sunday July 1. For tiket and timing information, as well as bookings, CLICK HERE to visit the theatre website.
For more details about Cirque Berserk, CLICK HERE to check out the show’s website.