Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Circus of Horrors - Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

The Circus of Horrors - The Asylum
Reviewer: Helen Patrick

Entering the doors had me slightly taken aback due to various characters from the show selling programmes and generally just going round scaring the living day lights out of people, me being one of them, to the point of me having to swap seats with my husband so i wasn’t on the end of the row. The show has a recorded message before beginning it states “Circus of Horrors is not suitable for chavs, sissies, close minded bigots and people of a nervous disposition................. “. I am unable to let you know the rest as it is unsuitable to be written yet very funny.

The show is rated a PG and there were some children of various ages in the audience yet it’s not the type of ‘circus’ I want my 7 year old watching.

The stage set was cluttered and very disorganised or so it seemed to begin with, during the first half you realise it is exactly how it needs to be due to the vast array of props and equipment needed. The lighting was bright sometimes to bright blurring my vision and the music was excellent yet far too loud to hear the words being sung. Don’t let my negative comments put you off though, the show was gruesome, funny and vulgar and definitely worth seeing.

When the show begins there is in my opinion to many tricks and horrors going on and you don’t know which to look at first, but within seconds it becomes clear that each artiste will have their own time to ‘shine’. The gymnastics, the crude antics and the ever amazing illusions have you sitting there wondering what on earth they can do to amaze you next, yet it just keeps coming.

The audience gasped with disbelief at parts, imagine seeing a man ripped in half or watching a lady have her throat slit open. The illusions really are made to look realistic and spectacular.

There is a story to this show yet it is hard to follow as you are more aware of the performances going on around rather than the story being sung. We know from the beginning it is based in an Asylum for the criminally insane and that’s about as far as I got with the story line.

‘Garry stretch’ has two Guinness world records for skin stretching hence the name, yet knowing this i felt he didn’t show us enough of his talent during the show, don’t get me wrong he is either talented or a pure freak but the slot he is given doesn’t do him justice. The gymnasts are also very talented they can get into positions you would not believe. All the cast of this ‘circus’ are talented in their own unique way and for this they are worth watching.

Dr Haze is then main man of the show. He is involved in a few illusions but is mainly there to relay the story via song. It is Professor Daniel Von Henry who gets the most laughs during this performance and you will be amazed by the items he attaches to parts of his anatomy.

The circus of horrors is one show my husband had been looking forward to and he did enjoy it as much as I did, unfortunately we are both undecided as to whether it was pure talent or just a freak show and whether or not it’s worth the £15 each to view a bunch of talented freaks on stage, don’t get me wrong it’s a show worth seeing but definitely only once, and never take a young child to watch this, the language, the sexual innuendos, the bizarre illusions could disturb such a young and imaginative brain. Yet for adults who are not easily traumatised or offended go and see this whilst on tour.
For dates on the tour please click here
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