• 31 March 2016 •
The Stage - great 4 star review
Stylish anniversary show provides quality family entertainment – complete with acrocats
by Katharine Kavanagh - Mar 29, 2016
The 30th anniversary production from Zippos Circus balances the domestic with the daring – even the family pets join in.
Performed inside the UK’s largest touring big top, the Mega Dome. Creative Director David Hibling has created a live show that fittingly brings back all the glitz and excitement of 1980s Saturday night variety TV, styled for contemporary audiences with modern lighting design, and costuming that nods to the traditional without appearing dated.
Ringmaster Norman Barrett is like an affably gruff grandad narrating the flow of acts with clarity and expertly improvised patter. The mischievous budgerigar and “acrocats” routines lifts the animals’ gawky behaviour into the realms of the cutely irresistible.
Clowning comes mainly from dapper Italian Mr Lorenz, who gives full energy to a staged juggling take-over (well acted by juggling partner Rafael Gil), but whose audience participation routines, though entertaining enough, pack little punch. The standout comedy act is Alex the Fireman, combining aerial and equilibristic prowess with a unique pivoting ladder rig.
Alex Michael sends another nod to artists of the past by performing – with no safety lunge – a sky-walk across the top of the tent featuring the Burger Sisters’ signature twist, plus leaps between two trapeze bars that hark back to Leotard’s invention of the form. His wife Romy, by contrast, brings her traditional foot juggling bang up-to-date by incorporating an aerial element, presented for the first time in the UK.
The acts all segue smoothly from one to another with reflected motifs appearing between different numbers, proving variety style circus needn’t be haphazard.