|17/11/23 – 1/1/24
Garrick Theatre, London 2021
“CIRQUE Berserk is the perfect family show. It’s back on stage at the Garrick Theatre in the West End with something for everyone. The stunts are so spectacular they seem physically impossible. And there is plenty of slapstick humour too. Move over Hugh Jackman... this is the greatest show!”
★★★★★‘It’s an eclectic mix of electrifyingly glorious performances wrapped up in a whiff of petrol. It’s not something anyone should miss.’
★★★★‘There is plenty to quicken the pulse in a line-up of raw talent to justify the company's name. Truly Berserkus’
‘…compelling daredevil stuff’
★★★★‘Escapist thrills of the big-top but without the hassle of squelchy grass. Deep joy: all the fun of the circus, with the “minimus” of fuss.’
★★★★"A non-stop, adrenaline-fuelled, theatrical spectacle"
More Recent Critical Acclaim
The Daily Express
★★★★★ "This amazing show is like Cirque du Soleil on steroids...brings the big boys to the big top in an outrageous, death-defying circus that will leave you gasping for breath. Anarchic and outrageous, this is gripping grown up fun that makes you wish you were a kid again so you could run away and join the circus."
Thank you CirqueBerserk for a spellbinding show!
Jeffrey Taylor, The Sunday Express
★★★★ 'Words (almost) fail me. In a lifetime of theatregoing, on both sides of the footlights, I have never seen anything like it'
'If your life is currently short on thrills, this could be the answer.'
★★★★★ “Great for kids and even better for adults!”
★★★★ “Heart-stoppingly good fun”
“Adrenaline pumping entertainment!”
“Makes Cirque du Soleil look wimpish… Leaves one breathless with excitement”
★★★★★ “An array of acts that outdo each other in the thrill stakes...
pitched perfectly between being a traditional circus experience and a theatrical production - this is a show not to be missed!”
Manchester Evening News
★★★★ “Fast-paced circus-with-a-difference - a veritable feast for the eyes and ears!”
★★★★ "A full-tilt thrill ride that almost literally sets the stage alight... Cirque Berserk's artistes care nothing for the slick safety and banal twirlings of much current circus... How your breath? At times I felt myself turning blue"
"Happily repackages different elements of the new circus movement to go into conventional theatre spaces. The acts are drawn from a palette of highly skilled and sometimes idiosyncratic performers... Plenty of thrills to be had here!"
British Theatre Guide
"Two hours of almost constant action, of which you don't want to miss a moment"
★★★★ "A NutriBullet of contemporary circus! Properly thrilling... your eyes will be fixed on the stage"
The Big Top may have been replaced by a theatre but the spirit of circus is still alive with Cirque Berserk. The show is gloriously, death-defyingly, magnificently, LUDICROUSLY FANTASTIC. It is also one the whole family will enjoy. Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town... just remember to breathe."
"Had me genuinely laughing out loud and marvelling... the two hours flies by and there's not a child hankering for their Nintendo in sight. Fun for all the family - just don't stand too close!"
★★★★ "Bringing the raw thrills, danger, exhilaration and sometimes beauty from the Big Top to a West End theatre."
★★★★★ "Noise, colour and excitement are the three essential ingredients for a successful circus, and in the case of Cirque Berserk they are here in abundance...an evening which really is worth every penny."
Birmingham Express and Star
"The greatest show on earth - this is unlike any other circus I've ever experienced. It's a West End style show that combines all the wonderment of traditional circus and brings it to us in a much more glamorous and comfortable way."
"Traditional, family minded British circus that prides itself on its authenticity... still performed by real circus families, some sixth generation. Eye popping acrobatic feats defying the laws of physics."
"Guaranteed to get your motor running...whips up an adrenaline-rush of energy...plenty of highlights studded through the hectic cavalcade of acts."
"The acts are superlative...
There are no duff linking sections or, worse, the woeful moral fables of Cirque du Soleil...
simply watch and marvel!"
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
Meet the Cast
With a company of over thirty performers from all over the world delivering a non-stop smorgasbord of more than thirty different circus skills, Cirque Berserk! is proud to be the biggest and most diverse circus show currently appearing in UK theatres.
The Lucius Team
The Lucius Team: Stunt Motorbikes from Brazil. The astonishing Lucius Team presents a petrol-fuelled hair-raiser: The motorcycle Globe of Death. Hold your breath and raise the roof as the fearless bikers ride upside down in the globe at speeds of up to 60mph. The louder you cheer, the faster they go!
Hoop Diving and Flaming Limbo from Africa. Taking performance arts from the streets of Africa to a whole new level, these guys will blow you away with their light-hearted, high-energy acrobatics.
Skipping and Hand Voltage from Mongolia. Our special guests from the Steppes give a whole new meaning to 'teamwork' as they literally hold each other’s lives in their hands.
Paulo Dos Santos
Aerial Straps from Brazil. The diminutive star of America's Ringling Brothers Circus is an inspiration to us all as he soars above the stage in a sensational display of skill and daring.
Vertical Pole from Morocco. Amazing strength and agility in a breathtakingly elegant performance.
Aerial Silks from Mongolia. Gravity-defying elegance as Hulan swoops gracefully through the air on her dazzling white silks. Just don’t look down!
Rola Rola from the Czech Republic. Bravery and unbelievable balancing skills are the key ingredients of this death-defying act.
Ebbe & Bilguun
Adagio from Mongolia. Grace, artistry and astonishing hand-to-hand acrobatics from this multi-talented duo.
Whimmie Walker and Paulo
Physical Comedy from the UK and Brazil. Our dynamic duo will have you in stitches with their anarchic comedy capers… and not a red nose in sight!
Knife Throwing and Juggling from the Czech Republic. Juggling with fire is just for starters. Nothing will prepare you for the speed with which Toni hurls knives and axes towards the spinning board while his brave assistant skilfully avoids them!
Aerial straps from the UK. High above the stage, Jackie Louise performs fearless feats of daredevil artistry.
Foot Archery, Contortion and Hula-Hoop from Mongolia. The most flexible archer you will ever see. Not only does this 'lady from the bottle' shoot an arrow with perfect aim, but she also does so with her feet whilst performing a handstand. See it and believe it!
Our giant, fire-breathing robot is always a favourite with audiences.
Berserk Dancers and Aerial Ballet
Our international ensemble, led by the UK’s Sarah Howard, glide fearlessly through the air on hoops and silks, and dance up a storm on the stage below.
|Cirque Berserk Founder and Producer
|Martin 'Zippo' Burton
Martin came to fame as Zippo the Clown and as the man who started the famous and much-loved Zippos Circus, which he still runs – but he never intended to spend his life under the big top. ‘I’m the archetypal “ran away and joined the circus” guy’, he says. ‘I worked in a mime act in various theatres in a show whose star was David Bowie. I promised my mum and dad that I’d get it out of my system and then go back home. I was 19 years old at that time; now, 40 years later, I’m still in the circus!’
As founder and director of Zippos Circus, you’d imagine Martin might want to rest on his laurels. Perhaps the restlessness that led him into the circus in the first place has become the driving force that now makes him steer parallel paths as the man behind that original traditional-style show and now also the contemporary ‘made-for-theatre’ Cirque Berserk that’s become such a sensation across Britain.
‘I spend a lot of my time travelling, searching for performers like these’, he says. ‘They’re the best in the business. It’s hard work, but it’s a dream job. It’s a lovely, amazing show. The performers are super-human, they often do two shows a day and then, when they’re not performing, you’ll find them training.
‘What the Cirque Berserk team have created together is real circus made for theatre,’ says Martin. ‘It’s put together in a very contemporary, very 21st-century way. The lighting, music, the costumes are entirely different from what you’re used to.
‘We do this, the performers, the creatives, myself, because all of us are Berserkus!’
Coming from a famous circus family Beau started perform at the age of five and has appeared in a number of circus acts; but is best known for his slapstick comedy routine which bought him great success with a number of major circuses around the world.
Beau also spent time with his father in the Middle East and Far East managing and providing shows for the leisure industry in the early and late ’90s; then returned to the UK to manage and perform in a number of major tenting and theatrical circuses throughout the UK and Europe.
Beau joined Zippos Circus 2010 and with his knowledge and management at Zippos has helped seen Zippos go from strength to strength, leading to the creation of Cirque Berserk! “A real circus made for the Theatre”
Julius has produced over 250 plays and musicals in the UK and around the world, including several in London’s West End. His work as a director includes numerous pantomimes; notably Cinderella, Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal Windsor and Cinderella at the Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo. He directed the award-winning Circus Burlesque and has been Creative Director of Cirque Berserk since 2014, including seven nationwide theatre tours and five Big Top seasons at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. He is a director of the Academy of Circus Arts (the UK’s only circus school to tour the country in a Big Top!) and a Fellow of the Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, University of London. His book How to Produce a West End Show was published by Oberon in 2012.
Dede was resident Movement Director on the European L’Oreal styling awards and Miss World and has also choreographed numerous pop videos and fashion shows. Theatre Credits include: Bugsy Malone, The Rocky Horror Show, Grease, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Hairspray, Little Shop Of Horrors, Once a Catholic, Cinderella (Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo) and twelve pantomimes for Bill Kenwright Ltd. Dede also teaches musical theatre workshops at several theatre schools, including Italia Conti and the London Studio Centre.
Sean Trained under Ralph Koltai at the Central School of Art and Design and then at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He is a long standing Artistic Associate and director of the York based Riding Lights Theatre Company.
Sean’s first professional design work was Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters for the York Theatre Royal in 1973. Since then his extensive career of over 500 productions, both in the UK and abroad, has included major US and European tours of The Rat Pack – live from Las Vegas, The Opera Show and Dancing in the Streets, the world premiere (in Singapore) of Judah Ben Hur – the Musical, Pickwick for the Hungarian National Theatre, Edward III for the Taormina Festival, David Oyelowo’s production of The White Devil and major community theatre projects such as the Chester Cycle of Mystery Plays and the acclaimed 2012 production of The York Mystery Plays. Other designs have included the UK premieres of Shishir Kurup’s Merchant of Vembley and Bram Stoker’s The Mummy; the musicals The Little Shop of Horrors, Crazy for You, Luv Esther and The Prodigals; multimedia events such as The Rock in San Francisco and Rock Me Amadeus in Vienna, and Who Do You Say I Am? for the BBC. Major UK tours have included M. Butterfly, Outside Edge, The Sound of Fury, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Winter’s Tale, Salaam Bethlehem, African Snow (commissioned to celebrate the Bicentennial of the 1807 Act to Abolish the Trade in Slaves), Origins and Lemons, Monsieur de Coubertin’s Magnificent Opymlic Feat, Visiting Mr. Green, Dancing in the Streets, The Handyman, the children’s show Igam Ogam and the ecology satire Baked Alaska.
Current UK tours include the hit musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Rat Pack – live from Las Vegas. Forthcoming projects include Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Bangkok and The Trial of Jane Fonda in London.
West End credits include The Tempest, The Mikado, The Aspern Papers, Sherlock Holmes – The Musical, Of Mice and Men, Treasure Island, When Did You Last See Your Trousers?, Never the Sinner, The Miracle Worker, In Praise of Love, The Roy Orbison Story, Stepping Out – The Musical, The Fire Raisers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas, Dancing in the Streets, African Snow, Visiting Mr Green and most recently Dreamboats and Petticoats.
Most recently Dianne has created costumes for Cinderella at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo, Sinatra at the London Palladium, McQueen at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Rhapsody for the Royal Ballet, Norma for the Royal Opera and The War of the Worlds at the Dominion Theatre, as well as four productions for Cirque Berserk. She has a twenty-year association with Watts and Company of Westminster, for whom she has created clerical outfits for churches and cathedrals throughout the country. Dianne studied scenic art under Dame Leslie Woolnough at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has worked as a scenic artist for The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Opera House, the Old Vic, the Almeida Theatre, the Theatre Royal Bath, the Ant and Dec tour and numerous pantomimes and West End plays and musicals. Film work includes Ridley Scott’s The Counselor. Dianne has also created interior designs for numerous domestic and commercial properties, including the Charing Cross Theatre Restaurant and Bar, and has taught scenic art at Guildhall, Rose Bruford College, The Brit School, GSA and Mountview.
A Guildhall graduate and an Olivier Award winner, Mike’s work takes him all over the world designing lighting for plays, musicals, operas and concerts, together with events, architecture and special projects. His UK theatre work includes numerous productions in the West End, on tour and in regional rep. His lighting has also appeared in France, Monaco, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong, Macau, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cuba and the USA. Recent theatre work includes classics When We Were Women, Great Expectations and Toast and new plays The Odyssey – Missing Presumed Dead, Go See, Propaganda Swing and the European Premier of The Perfect Life in the latest Norwegian Arts Complex Kilden.
Other theatre work includes; an Olivier Award for Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory and Wyndhams Theatre) and a What’s On Stage Design award nominee for On The Waterfront (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Recent credits include The Odyssey (Everyman/Tour) Gods & Monsters (Southwark); Fascinating Aida (London and Tours), Art & Det Perfekte Liv (Norway), Rent (Bridewell), The Witches, Great Expectations and James and the Giant Peach (Dundee Rep); Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well (Charing Cross); Go See (Kings Head); Propaganda Swing (Nottingham/Coventry), Toast (Park/Tour/Broadway), Joe Stilgoe, Songs On Film (Edinburgh), Songs For A New World (Guildford), 1001 Nights (Saudi Arabia), The Dead Wait (Park Theatre), Keeler (Charing Cross Theatre), Piano Piano (Cottiers), Hairspray (Kuala Lumpur/Singapore), Volcano (Vaudeville Theatre and UK Tour), Funny Peculiar (UK Tour), Dry Rot (UK Tour), The Billie Holiday Story (Charing Cross Theatre), Parade (Old Vic Tunnels), Gibraltar (Arcola Theatre), Fragile (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Dear World (Charing Cross Theatre), The Father (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Murder on the Nile (UK Tour), Verdict (UK Tour), Larkrise to Candleford (UK Tour), Riccardo Primo (Royal College of Music), The Producers (Arts Ed), Six Actors in Search of a Director (Charing Cross Theatre, Directed by Steven Berkoff), Death & Gardening (UK Tour, Edinburgh Festival), Oedipus (Nottingham Playhouse and Edinburgh Festival), Third Floor (Trafalgar Studios), Company (Southwark Playhouse), Billy Liar (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Cabaret (Wilton’s Music Hall), Guys & Dolls (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Educating Rita (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Wolfboy (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh), New Boy (Trafalgar Studios), Hair (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Too Close to the Sun (Comedy Theatre), My Fair Lady (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Anything Goes (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Five Guys Named Moe (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Sunday in the Park With George (Menier Chocolate Factory and Wyndhams Theatre), Othello (Birmingham Stage Company), Sit and Shiver directed by Steven Berkoff (Hackney Empire), Deathtrap (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Seesaw (Arts Ed), The Spring Proms (Royal Albert Hall), The Glee Club (Bolton Octagon and Cochrane Theatre) and The Wood Demon (Playhouse Theatre).
Matthew is Artistic Director of Mr Bugg Presents, whose production of the hit musical Miss Nightingale is currently on its fourth UK tour. Sound design work includes: The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Volcano, Our Man in Havana (West End and Tour) The Handyman; Alarms and Excursions; Star Quality; Verdict; Lark Rise to Candleford; Quartet; The Hound of the Baskervilles; My Brilliant Divorce; Northanger Abbey; Jamaica Inn, Three Men In A Boat (UK No 1 Tours) And Then There Were None, Black Coffee, Go Back For Murder, Murder on the Nile, Verdict (Bill Kenwright’s Agatha Christie Theatre Company); The Father (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); The League of Youth; All Quiet on the Western Front; To Reach the Clouds; Because It’s There; The Mill on the Floss; Wonderful Tennessee; Polygraph (Nottingham Playhouse); The Invention of Love; Barbarians; Secret Rapture (Salisbury Playhouse); Vanity Fair (Northcott, Exeter); Northanger Abbey; Amadeus (Theatre Royal York); And Then The Dark, A Family Affair; Double Indemnity; The Glass Menagerie (New Wolsey, Ipswich); Rumpelstiltskin; Great Expectations; Duck! (Unicorn Theatre); A Perfect Ganesh; The True Life Fiction of Mata Hari (Palace, Watford); Richard III; Don Juan on Trial; The Provok’d Wife; Uncle Vanya (Mercury theatre, Colchester); The Canterbury Tales, The Government Inspector, She Stoops To Conquer (Northern Broadsides UK Tour); The Firebird (Bolton, Octagon); Little Wolf’s Book of Badness (Hampstead) The Impostor (Plymouth Theatre Royal). Matthew trained as a dancer and performed the role of Ariel in The Tempest for Nottingham Playhouse.