A low-lit, smoke filled atmosphere carried the hum of Parisian influenced cirque tones, as families fumbled into their seats. The stage, set in a classic Proscenium Arch, accommodated many a daring apparatus; all illuminated with hues of blue. Before long, the gentle melody became interrupted, as a PA recording rebelled against traditional theatre conventions, and promoted the use of texts, tweets and photography throughout the show. The blue hues sparked to red; cue danger.
From the outset, it was clear that there was an element of electricity in the air. The amazing attention to detail and synchronization was more or less faultless with burlesque dancers and sophisticated aerial silk. The contrast between elegant and daring acts made the performance even better and with jaw-dropping stunts and tricks, there were definitely mixed reactions from the audience. ‘Oh my God!’ seemed to be a rather common phrase throughout the theatre, and we could see why.
From the first beat of the haunting playlist sounding, audiences were captured; taken hostage in the 90 minute spectacle. The opening act, an all-male sextet leaped and bounded into a range of body-contorting stunts, with such fluidity, that bums were left on seat edges. And from then on, the excitement ascended, along with the stunt’s risk potential. From aerialists, acrobats and dancers to knife throwers, jugglers and a record-holding heavyweight lifter, the acts all competed with each other; upping the daring stakes.
The highlight of the night came in the form of a bold Globe of Death stunt, featuring 4 motorcycles, all spiralling at speeds of up to 60mph. Incredible! It was clear that the Globe of Death was the most elevating act; no doubt it had us gawping in awe! Most acts will have one biker riding around in the cage. Well, try four. Entertaining or just insane? We’d say a bit of both.
This jam-packed ensemble had audience members hiding behind their fingertips; wincing as contortionists defied all laws of the backbone; and recapturing breaths via the skin-baring showgirls, who helped bring the pace down a notch, between acts- it really is quite easy to forget to breathe when one’s jaw is on the floor!
The whole show was a spectacular experience; apart from what they call ‘the award winning comedian’ and what we would call ‘man attempting to be funny’. As harsh as this may sound, the crude humour was cringe worthy at times and the audience seemed to agree, with little laughter from the theatre. Fault also came with the choice of staging. Perhaps the circus theme could have been better captured through the use of in the round theatre, to make for a more authentic, cirque-esque production.
Rhona Nagawa, a DeMontfort University student and audience member, said: “From the opening act until the end of the show, I was entertained by the level of acrobatic skills and dangerous performances. They kept the whole audience in suspense and it was definitely an entertaining night suitable for families and people of all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance!”
With a mix of cheeky cabaret and ever so daring Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, Cirque Berzerk is something that certainly needs to be experienced with your own eyes. It was clear from the chatter that came at the end of the show that the audience loved what they had seen.
Cirque Berserk proves that the circus will never go out-of-fashion. Providing entertainment for all of the family; it was daring, gripping and a real delight to watch. If you don’t mind crazy bikers riding around a hamster ball, the smell of burning rubber, and an adrenaline drenched performance, then this show is definitely for you. It really was one ‘berzerk’ show.