Cirque Berserk at Garrick Theatre
Crammed into the West End’s Garrick Theatre, Cirque Berserk is a part-thrilling, part-terrifying tour de force. Returning to London after last year’s cancelled performances, this circus, designed for the stage, is the summer’s unmissable extravaganza.
Promoting interactivity and inclusiveness, this non-verbal show actively encourages the audience to photograph (non-flash) and film the smorgasbord of acrobatics, aerial performances and daredevil stunts (for private use only). The Bersukus Company boasts a diverse team of 35 extremely talented performers and features a repertoire of traditional and contemporary circus acts.
Yet, so transfixing or eye-averting are some of these performances, that there’s little desire to start recording. To go into too much detail would ruin some of the shocking feats, but let it be said that every new routine ups the ante over the hour-and-45-minute runtime (with interval).
Highlights include the incredibly brave Khadgaa Troupe vaulting each other into the air – an act that looks palpably dangerous under the Garrick’s proscenium arch. Acrobatic brothers Antonio and Connor also impress as they balance their bodies in seemingly impossible positions. Hulan’s graceful aerial skills are breathtakingly balletic, while Toni and Nikol’s knife-throwing act is genuinely stressful to watch. The on-stage centrepiece – the imposing, caged “Globe of Death” – features the bike-riding Lucius Team in a revving, revolving display of potential destruction. Adapting this heart-racing stunt for the very first time on a theatre stage is both insane and astounding to behold.
Only a few silly (if endearing) segments, featuring Paulo dos Santos and a stumbling, “fire-breathing” giant robot, feel like needless padding. Nonetheless, the entire troupe dazzle with their whirling energy, pure concentration and theatrical flourish, sustained by Matthew Bugg’s loud, exhilarating background music.
Cirque Berserk is a flamboyant reminder of what theatregoers have been missing out on in the last 18 months: a rush of excitement and terror created by a live experience, shared by a captive audience. Suitable for all ages, this adrenaline-pumped, tightly skilled spectacle is absolutely worth checking out while it’s in town!
Photo: Piet-Hein Out
Cirque Berserk is at Garrick Theatre from 25th August until 11th September 2021. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.