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Brighton Fringe 2008

The Moscow State Circus

The Moscow State Circus

Venue: Big Top, Preston Park


Low Down

 A fantastically glizty, showy and engaging circus show, with acts that will make you cover your eyes with terror, but peek through your fingers so as not to miss a moment.


This year the Moscow State Circus takes its position in Preston Park for the month, to thrill and delight Brighton with its cornucopia of physical talent.

If you want a traditional experience, then this circus is for you  – complete with clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers and unicycles, the only thing missing is the lions, which I am sure would be illegal in this day and age anyway!

Wearing marvelously spangly costumes, the performers bear the fixed smiles of the true professional – even down to the burly Russian men, unselfconsciously parading round in tight purple spandex.

Particularly marvelous were the incredibly talented trapeze troupe – don’t come in late from the interval or you might miss the start! As they sail above your head, one can’t help gasp, as with impeccable timing they catch each other, while moving at breakneck speed through the air.

Another great act was the juggler with a twist! In a barrage of spectacle he broke all boundaries of expectation as he used his bouncy UV juggling balls to achieve the amazing feat of controlling twelve or more balls at the same time, ricocheting off his specially constructed platform in a whirl of glowing spheres.

The clowns Valik and Valerik were a traditional slapstick pair – with the sad make-up of the female clown highlighting her humiliation as she was doused in water and kicked by her counterpart’s giant shoes. There were genuinely humourous moments however, and they displayed obvious skill at the art of tightrope walking.

The highlight of the show was indisputably the gymnastic sections – especially in the finale. These incredible athletes performed acrobatic feats that had everyone in the Big Top open mouthed and speechless with wonder – I won’t explain it further, as this act needs to be seen to be believed.

The Moscow State Circus is not trying to be anything other than a really good old fashioned circus show – a refreshing alternative to the current trend for modern ‘stripped back’ circus, that lacks the glitter and panache these traditionalists do so well. To be highly recommended – it is in Brighton until 20th May.



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