Shock, horror! Scary circus marks 25 years of terror

The Circus of Horrors has been terrifying and titillating punters for a quarter of a century.
The Circus of Horrors has been terrifying and titillating punters for a quarter of a century.

The latest Circus of Horrors’ production celebrates the show’s 25 years in the spotlight with all new acts and some old favourites, all under the slightly sinister gaze of ringmaster Doktor Haze and accompanied by some frighteningly good live rock music at Falkirk Town Hall on Thursday, February 20.

Formed back in the Britpop era – counting the Jim Rose Circus as its main inspiration, along with Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Quentin Taratino – the circus actually performed at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival and went on to rock Prince Charles at his 50th birthday bash as the backing act to Robbie Williams back in 1998.

They also famously made it all the way to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2011 – not bad going for a show which is not your usual prime time viewing experience.

The circus has been a regular, and usually quite alarming, sight at festivals – including multiple appearances at Glastonbury, Download, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park and Edinburgh Fringe – and performances all over the world – the USA, South America, France, Italy, Hong Kong and Moscow.

Some of the famous names who have borne witness to the madness of Haze down the decades include music stars like Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, Marilyn Manson, The Damned and Boy George, and telly famous faces like Lenny Henry, Gordon Ramsay, Yvette Fielding and Ant and Dec.

Over the years the Circus of Horrors has featured a wide variety of top turns – some you can’t take your eyes off and some you want to take your eyes off, but just can’t seem to look away. Since 1995 there has been sword swallowers, hair hangers, acrobats, fire eaters, aerial acts, trapeze acts, stage illusionists, contortionists, human blockheads, knife throwers and, of course, a talented full metal racket backing band thrashing out some heavy accompaniment.

The names of the regular and semi-regular cast members alone are enough to guarantee big crowds at every show they play – Doktor Haze, Captain Dan, Hannibal Hellmurto, Anastasia IV, The Mongolian Laughing Boy, Camp Dracula, The Sinister Sisters and The Voodoo Warriors.

The new Circus of Horrors coming to Falkirk next month will feature Doktor Haze and many of the acts who have become etched in our minds – and nightmares – over the last quarter of a century.

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