Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Review: Cirque Berserk at Winter Wonderland

Cirque Berserk 
Winter Wonderland
Reviewed on Monday 1st December 2014

Oh Winter Wonderland, how you have the power to kill or cure the Christmas spirit. The annual festive extravaganza can very easily overpower one with festive cheer though the miasma of holiday joy.

Weary visitors to this eden of Yuletide jollity may long for a break from the extortionate rides and overpriced schnitzel. So, fear not, merry gentlemen (and women), for respite is at hand in the form of Cirque Berserk, one of the two circus shows I had the pleasure of witnessing last night in the Wonderland's Mega Dome (groan).

This show attempts to differentiate itself through it's futuristic theming, robotic costumes and heavy rock soundtrack: a sort of circus for the angsty teenager, if you will.

First up: gymnastic robots jumping, tumbling and forming gravity-defying human shapes. As with most of the show's theme though, the robotics begin and end with the costumes. The gymnasts perform like gymnasts in robot unitards rather than make any attempt to embody a robotic demeanour. Nevertheless, the skill, balance and sheer strength involved was impressive, even if it did lack a little finesse and poise.

What followed, for the main part, was pretty standard circus fare, though no less entertaining for it: a trapeze artist, a contortionist and a troupe of stunt BMX riders.

More impressive was the gargantuan strong man who appeared bare chested like an angry Russian mafioso, replete with three tyres. For a moment I wondered whether he was going to tear the tyres apart and fling them into the audience. Impressively (though I was a little disappointed to leave tyre-burn free), he rolled them across his body and juggled with them, throwing the hefty things high into the air. I won't ruin the show by revealing what happened between him and the Jeep.

Worth the ticket price alone though was the 'Globe of Death': a jaw-dropping, death defying show of skill, risk-taking and showmanship involving not three but four motorbikes in what appeared to be quite a small globular cage. My heart was in my mouth and I know I wasn't the only one.

Sick of mulled wine? Nauseous from too many over-priced fairground rides? Tear yourself away from your candy floss and visit Cirque Berserk: fun entertainment for the whole family and not a bratwurst or reindeer in sight!

Reviewed by Jody Tranter

Cirque Berserk runs at Winter Wonderland. Please visit www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com for info and tickets.

Photo Credit: Piet-Hein Out

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