Cirque Berserk is an extremely reputable version of a circus troupe touring theatre land and there is much more than just a tipping of the hat to the traditional in their work. Gymnastic, acrobatic, and agility talent is evident in all performances, as well expert timing and the sharp minded actions of trained minds. Much strength and concentration apparent in set skills and it is very obvious how much of a life’s work this is for most.
This show will present its audiences with a lot of visual fun wherever it goes. The ‘Berserkers’ are made up of a multicultural array of circus performers mostly from South American and Eastern European countries, also, France, Mongolia and Kenya. Many are similar in their physicality within their individual ethnic groups so the stage had a real feel of the exotic.
Supporting acts are the Berserk Dancing girls who hip roll and step left-and-right stage front, while the performers make those all-important stage prop changes behind.
I would never wish to be pinned down to a conclusion where I have to state that I either like or dislike this art form. Though it is second nature for me to conduct a risk assessment if anything is potentially dangerous, because it seemed quite possible that the Bolas Argentinas duo could have flung their swinging clackers into the audience by mistake. Or that the dreadlocks from any one of the Timbuktu Tumblers might have caught fire. I fretted, be it very briefly, for the very life of the knife thrower’s assistant! And when I saw the Globe of Death move off its feet under the strain of the whizzing bikers inside, I looked around incredulously wondering if anyone else had noticed.
Seeing everyone clapping and cheering however, I thought this is it, Exactement! Without the threat of danger there wouldn’t be a show, and though I can always recognize and have an appreciation of artistry whenever and wherever it is present, there’s a layer that remains undefinable to do with this particular form of entertainment, even with animals being out out of the picture as is the case with Cirque Berserk.
On the other hand I see that it gives the people attached to the circus a good life and that they are absolutely dedicated individuals who enjoy peak body fitness, the thrill of performance and the chance to tour around. Who is complaining? I’m not, not really! It’s great!
Despite all of the wild activity present, it was the balancing act, and the slow and controlled movement of the toned torso and strong limbs of, Jose and his partner the gorgeously supple and graceful, Gaby I found to be the most captivating.
The show stealer however, is the slapstick comedy of, Tweedy who seems to incorporate all kinds of circus skills in his clowning around. Scottish man, Tweedy makes his routines look easy , yet he is so incredibly clever. The audience loved him. I heard children giggling every time his slot came around.
An enjoyably different theatrical experience for me. One in which etiquette was more relaxed and the rules attached to matters of Health and Safety and Intellectual Property were waived – for one week only at The Rep!
Theatre critic, Debra Hall attended the press night performance of CIRQUE BERSERK at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, UK on Monday 20 Feb 2017