Wednesday, 4 March 2020

A Night At The Circus: Cirque Berserk! Comes To Exeter

Last night, we headed off with the children to Exeter for a night at the circus.

We've seen a fair few circuses over the years, and we always enjoy them but last night felt like something a little different. Something more unique, and - I have to say - more enjoyable!

Cirque Berserk! are a touring troupe of incredibly talented performers ranging from jugglers and acrobats, to aerial artists and stuntmen plus so much more. 

What felt different about the evening was that unlike all of the other circuses we've visited over the years, Cirque Berserk! took place not in a freezing cold Big Top in the middle of a muddy field but rather in the comfort of Exeter's Northcott Theatre.

I feel that this made such a hugely positive difference to our overall enjoyment of the evening. There was no struggling across a field in cold weather to get there, there was no battling with the car in the mud - it felt like a civilized evening out in warmth and comfort, with the benefit of a fully stocked bar and snack station and ice cream sellers during the intermission!

We settled in to our seats with our 3 excited children not quite sure what to expect from the evening. The show started with an amazing troupe of acrobats and immediately the children were awe struck! There was no slow build up here - it was an action packed adventure from start to finish, with each act defying the laws of gravity and making us gasp in open-mouthed disbelief one after the other.

My younger two children enjoyed the evening, but I have to say - my 7 year old eldest child had the time of his life! I haven't seen him quite so excited and in awe over anything for ages, the joy was clearly visible on his face throughout the night as he fell about in fits of laughter at the clown-like antics of Paulo Dos Santos in between acts. As each act took to the stage he turned to me with his mouth wide-open and whispered "HOW are they doing that?!" - it was honestly the highlight of my evening seeing how much he enjoyed himself.

And I have to say, it wasn't just the children who had a fantastic time - but us adults too! The acts were all incredibly impressive, so much so that I'd struggle to pick out a particular favourite. 

My children had no such issue - with my youngest naming the Giant robot as his, my middle one saying the elegant aerial performers were the ones she liked best and my eldest saying that the amazing and energetic Timbuktu Tumblers were the ones he enjoyed most.

The evening ended with the nail-biting Globe Of Death - and honestly, I didn't see as much of it as most as I spent a lot of their act covering my eyes with nerves for their safety at such death-defying stunts! But I needn't have worried, as the enormous eruption of applause from the audience confirmed that these skilled professionals were perfectly fine after their incredible performance.

The atmosphere in the theatre was electric, and what struck me most was that an evening such as this truly has no age limit - the audience was made up of every possible type of visitor, from very young children to elderly couples - and everybody there seemed to have a fantastic evening if the laughter and applause were anything to go by.

The 2020 tour follows a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, and the circus is in town at Northcott Theatre from Tuesday 3 to Sunday 8 March 2020.

To get tickets or check for future tour dates, please visit

*We were invited along by Cirque Berserk! for the evening, all words and opinions are my own

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