The concluding act, the motorcyclists of the Globe of Death I have now seen four times, and while I have now become blasé about it, I can still revel in the delight of others seeing it for the first time, including my companion of the night, who often thought the whole evening was full of crazy. It is true really though that you must have to be more than a little crazy to be a circus performer and do some of these outlandish acts we witness. However, big them up and applaud all the crazy people, because through them, a really diverse audience (the most this side of a panto pretty much), was thrilled to beginning to end.
The performers are varied, but all remarkably skilled, the opening performance of stunning acrobat act, the Timbuktu Tumblers is amazing, and their relatively constant presence, bridging scenes often, is a nice touch. The Bolas Argentinas provide a nice bit of spark, literally, to their very traditional performance as well, and if Gabriel doesn't epitomise the crazy of a circus performer, I am not sure what will.
The most major change to the evening for 2019 was a new "clown", in the arrival of the diminutive Paulo dos Santos. Standing just 3ft 6ins, he rises fair above his height in a brilliant collection of comic pieces, which the youngsters around me were certainly loving. This is clowning, but very different clowning, no silly costume, just fabulous physical comedy. Also, there is a double and glorious payoff in the second act, where he is given a nicely created emotional moment, and perhaps something you might never have seen from the circus clown before. Fabulous stuff.
Perhaps my own personal favourite though is the amazing travelling circus sequence in the second act, it's a stunning collection of set-pieces, all conclusively traditional and runs the full gamut of acts you could imagine, from jugglers, knife throwing, a bit of foot controlled archery. Quick paced, inventive and superbly performed.
Sadly, the one main thing I had to criticise last time hasn't really changed, and that is of the slightly over atmospheric lighting, great at times, poor at others, mostly to the detriment of the aerial performers like Jackie, who is poorly lit, to not allow the remarkable skills she has to be fully appreciated. Elsewhere in the technicals though, they are a pleasure and a delight, the pulsing and incredibly well-selected music tracks bring an incredible amount to this mostly dialogue-free production.
Remarkable skills and feats on display, in a show that will thrill kids of all ages.
Performance reviewed: Tuesday 28th March 2019 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.
Cirque Berserk runs at the Royal & Derngate until Saturday 30th March 2019 and continues its tour. Details at http://www.cirqueberserk.co.uk/
For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/
Photos: Piet-Hein Out