‘Cirque’, it seems, is a word that’s everywhere. It’s the name given to the acceptable face of circus for Waitrose shoppers I guess. And in Cirque Berserk the traditional Zippo’s circus has brought a vast array of traditional circus thrills together in a fast paced, thrilling and genuinely jaw dropping show.
Where it scores over its near namesake Cirque Du Soleil, at least in my view, is in not attempting to shoe-horn any sort of narrative or message into the format. It’s simply a succession of acts – acrobats, fire juggling, knife throwing, clowning – with the added zing of a giant robot and four, presumably crazy, motorcyclists careering round inside a metal globe.
There’s added polish in the form of an angular and suitably dangerous looking stage set and theatrical lighting and smoke effects. And the theatre environment gives a formality and frame to the experience which gives its sheer physicality even greater impact. It’s not often on stage that you get one motorcycle being genuinely driven, never mind four. The roar of the engines adds to the excitement and sense of danger.
‘Don’t try this at home’ hardly needs saying about this show, but do try getting out of your home to see it.
The Cirque Berserk 2017 tour opened at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 18 January.