Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Entertainment in the Extreme

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Entertainment in the Extreme

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA HODGSON

EXCITEMENT sets in at our first sight of the Big Top erected on the Town Moor for Circus Extreme's 10-day Newcastle run.

We're expecting something pretty special from the team behind both the Moscow State Circus and The Extreme Stunt Show.

And it seems we're in for the best of both when, within minutes of taking our seats inside the grand red tent, we were watching, hearts in mouths, as above our heads daredevil acrobats performed inside - and out - of giant rotating hoops.

It's a dramatic opening for what turns out to be a night of quite extraordinary entertainment which two hours later concludes with the most spectacular finale of any show I've seen.

We'd heard this was circus with a difference and certainly it blasted away cosy childhood memories of gentle laughs at tumbling clowns and mild surprise as a ringmaster introduced a juggler or a woman balanced on one leg on a horse.

It does have that familiar buzz as you enter the dark and mysterious Big Top but the clown alone (and there's just one) is a whole new story.

There's a juggler too but this is one who performs on top of a vehicle driven into the ring in just one of the line-up international acts which follow each other in quick succession against a background of pulsing lights and sound.

It's loud, with music pumping and the audience cheering - and screaming - from the off, particularly at aerial feats such as a high wire act where the tight rope walking is scary enough - but imagine doing the splits on it. And riding a bike - with somebody standing on your shoulders. It's nerve-wracking to watch - and there's not a safety net in sight.

In an otherwise all-action show, the clown's appearances bring a change of pace and, besides the mime, pratfalls and laughs, he also proves himself quite an acrobat in the second half. …

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