The big top may have been replaced by a theatre but the spirit of the circus is still alive with Cirque Berserk. Traditional circus acts are all present with the jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, strongman, clown and exotic dancers.
The most mind-blowing stunt has to be the legendary Globe of Death. Dubbed as the world’s most dangerous circus act and you can see why. The motorbikes driving at speed round a particularly small globe is breath taking.
The quintessential circus clown is the award-winning Tweedy who provides effortless, slapstick entertainment. Whilst perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, his style is as a hybrid of Charlie Chaplin and The Chuckle Brothers, his mastery of his art and clear talent shines though. Regardless of whether you enjoy his comedic medium or not, you can’t help but be charmed by his capering.
The acrobatics are amazing; whether this is the aerialists suspended by their toes high above the stage or the acrobats catapulting themselves across the stage you are captivated throughout. It’s hard to watch the knife-thrower for fear of what could happen (but of course doesn’t) but it’s also hard to tear yourself away.
This show is gloriously, death-defyingly, magnificently, ludicrously fantastic. Unlike many shows, it’s also one the whole family will enjoy, although I can’t guarantee the kids won’t come away wanting to join the circus. Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town… just remember to breathe.
Cirque Berserk is at the Lowry until 25 January.
– Geoff Hodge