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The Insect Circus
Published on Monday, 26 April 2010

Returning for its second successive Fringe, the eccentric variety act which is The Insect Circus is the kind of entertainment you just don’t find elsewhere.  In a brilliantly simple premise, a Victorian travelling insect circus is made real: flies, wasps, beetles and ladybirds are scaled up to human size, to perform a seemingly neverending parade of old-school circus acts under the benign control of a besuited ring-master.

Wasp tamer

When we took in the Circus last year, we found it a “homely, old-fashioned take on an inspired idea” – good for all but the youngest kids, but with plenty for grown-ups to chuckle at too.  The line-up may well have changed by now, but to give you a flavour of what you might see: there was a cute comedy of manners from a troupe of performing dust-mites, we were almost knocked flying by a charging beetle and, when the wasp-tamer foolishly turned her back on her deadly pets, the whole audience felt a genuine frisson of fear.

The circus acts themselves are funny rather than impressive, though we do understand that nothing’s easy when you’re dressed as a giant spider.  Still, it’s charming, relaxed and at just £7, it delivers a lot of entertainment for your money.  So do try to make the time for this singular show; you'll not see its like for a while.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.