Returning to the UK with a show five years in the making, Circus Extreme is a classic circus with a contemporary twist that will satisfy the imagination of a range of audiences – whether you’re a petrolhead, theatre fan or seeking a thrill.
Welcomed by blazing sunshine on a glorious Jubilee Friday in Cardiff City Stadium, we enter the distinctive red Big Top tent, the darkness soon shattered under the colourful lights from the stage and the floor started shivering under the influence of the music. Greeted with all the familiar sensations of the circus: the buttery smells of popcorn and candyfloss, light-up swords and ushers adorned in The Greatest Showman-esque outfits who guide us through a hazy atmosphere.
A multitalented ensemble regales the audience with entertaining transitions between acts, even tipping the hat to key workers. There are great complementary onscreen visuals and plenty of relevant content to keep the TikTok generation engrossed, with all ages visibly maintaining focus for the duration. The Circus Extreme website says that this spectacle is an adrenaline-inducing and pressing-into-the-chair show – and it is true!
Some standout moments were delivered by Polischuk, an aerial duo who, through an emotive story, ended up hanging over 30 feet in the air connected by a piece of material in their teeth. A brilliant high-wire routine incorporated comedic moments in the rafters of the venue, while an Aquatic Aerial routine climaxed with Laura Miller dropping from the height of the tent into a pool of flames.
Walking the rope, acrobatics with a wheel, juggling, acrobatics on motorcycles, and much more were done with outstanding professionalism and incredible effort.
The pinnacle of Circus Extreme, though, is when the poetically named Globe Of Death is pulled into focus, the almost-vertical ramps are set and it’s time for the Extreme Motocross team to arrive. Billed as “the most death-defying act ever demonstrated”, the riders whizz around the cage-like sphere until there are four of them all narrowly missing each other in precise and calculated ellipses. Ending with a literal bang, it’s fast, it’s furious, there’s fire and they leave no room for boredom. With tickets prices ranging from £9-£32 in Cardiff, this was a high-value experience. Throughout the show, the family atmosphere, trust and friendship in the entire crew were felt. Keep your eyes peeled for the next time Circus Extreme is in town.
Cardiff City Stadium, Fri 3 June
words JOSEPH ELIJAH and Ewa Palka for BUZZ CULTURE
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