Review: Globe Of Death Wows Crowd As Circus Returns To London
Circus has had a rough time of it during the pandemic. Even the billionaire-backed Cirque du Soleil was forced to fire about 95% of its staff. Thankfully, the genre's making a comeback in London with shows like Cirque Berserk opening this week.
The art form is a fascinating part of London history given that the modern version of circus originated in a Lambeth amphitheatre around 250 years ago. The Garrick is no spit and sawdust tent, but the Berserk crew work hard to create a heady ambience. Interaction is encouraged from the start with the audience given permission to take videos and pictures.
Martin “Zippo” Burton and his fellow backroom team have assembled a large and highly talented crew of international performers which should keep the whole family entertained. Backed by a stirring soundtrack, there’s rarely a breather between the axe throwing, hand balancing, foot juggling and back flipping.
Some of the bigger set pieces like the teeterboard, cyr wheel and acrobalance are unambitious by modern standards and will interest only those who've never seen them before (or have low excitement thresholds).
Petrolheads will lap up the 'Globe of Death' which sees up to three very fast and very loud motorcycles go up and down and left and right inside a transparent sphere to raucous effect. That aside, it is chiefly the creative and elegant mid-air pieces (especially Hulan’s silks and Duo Garcia’s aerial cradle) that are truly spectacular.
Cirque Berserk, Garrick Theatre. Tickets £20-£59.50. Until 11 September
Last Updated 27 August 2021