Circus of Horrors

We’ve just been to see Circus of Horrors at the Brighton Centre. Sadly, the scariest thing was the venue itself. Don’t take that the wrong way. The venue really was diabolically awful. We had seats (cheap seats, admittedly) on the right hand side of the stage. But even with cheap seats, you expect to be able to see the performance. What was nice was that there was a video screen for the highlights in case you couldn’t see the front of the stage. Sadly, the view of the screen was blocked by a large speaker stack…

It was bad enough that at the interval, they opened up another section of seating behind the main section in front of the stage and moved everybody there instead.

Needless to say, I’m going back to the box office to try and get some money back. There is no way that tickets for those seats should have been sold in the first place.

But the venue is still revolting. It’s like going in to a school assembly hall. At any minute you expect someone to come over and force you into singing Kum-Ba-Yah. And then you’ll be lectured to death by a boring man in a grey suit. Really. It’s that dismal.

But what about the circus itself? Some good bits, some bad bits. I feel that it would have been much better if it could have made its mind up as to what it actually was. Circus? Musical? Comedy? Freak show? It felt like jack of all trades, master of none.

Good: Midgets in kilts pulling vacuum cleaners around the stage with their genitals. Fire. Angle grinders. Some of the acrobatic sequences were really very good (especially when paired with Tubular Bells).

Bad: The incessant “rock” music covered up any attempt at dramatic tension. Some of the sequences felt decidely unpolished. The spotlights that shone straight into your eyes. All the deliberate musical sequences were pretty dire. The sound system was also not really that good (though that may have been the Brighton Centre).

Overall, I’m glad I went to see it. But I’d much rather see Circus Oz again if they come back to town…

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