Cirque Berserk Festival Theatre Edinburgh 2017 Review Tuesday 7th February 2017


This show is a wonderful and crazy succession of various theatrical type circus acts from many different countries. The performers are dauntingly skilled.  The loud, dramatic opening music evoked in me a deep reminiscence of Viking strength and prowess which indeed reflects the essence of the acts in Cirque Berserk.

When you go to this show, you think in terms of 'nail-biting' and 'heart-racing' in an effort to describe your feelings. Whatever words come to mind, your attention will not waver for a second during performances.  What you see is skill and danger, as it was in the traditional circus under the big top!  Only one act uses a safety wire and thank goodness they do.  The show comprises two parts of 45 minutes each, with an interval.  The audience is permitted to take non-flash photos and upload etc.  

The acts are numerous and varied. The Timbuktu Tumblers are great fun to watch; their acrobatic humour, their costumes and their devoted teamwork skills in bringing entertainment is, l admit, one of my favourite acts. 

Tweedy the clown's act reflects the French tradition. Banal domestic implements, such as the kitchen broom, the steel ladder, become humourous irritants and what ridiculous tangles he gets into.  A huge grin sits happily on the audience's faces as Tweedy takes us through his wonderful repertoire.

Jose and Gaby from Colombia bring unbelievable elasticity to ballet movement. Then Odka from Mongolia brings contortion to a different level. From Cuba, the Tropicana Troupe catapult themselves daringly in front of an almost disbelieving audience. And as for Toni the Czech knife thrower, a silent prayer was made for his young assistant on the spinning board!  Jackie, the UK acrobat, needs a special mention as her act was both graceful and daring. High-wire acrobatics is traditionally such an important part of a circus' repertoire, it was unfortunate that her act was insufficiently lit, with a tad too much smoke effects.

The grand finale features the Lucius Team with the Globe of Death act, a truly scary motor cycle spectacular.  It's at this point you realise you have been mentally sitting on the edge of your seat!

Review by Nordann Lyshelt.

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