Circus duo put on free Christmas show for Riverside families

In the midst of election fatigue, the men of Circus Berzercus are countering with some arguments of their own

Parents and children made their way to the Riverside Warehouse this week to sit down for more than an hour of slapstick comedy and daring circus thrills.

The family Christmas show was put on by the elves from Circus Berzercus: two self-proclaimed men in a ‘tiny, little van’and it was completely free.

“It’s funny, it’s a kind of release thing,” says Ben, who looks radically different out of costume.

“We’re not trying to change the world or tell anybody anything, it’s just the kind of thing where you can go ‘oh great, I don’t have to think for a while’ and I think that’s really important in the times we live in.”

But the show is only free thanks to a Welsh Government scheme called Night Out, which is partly funded by the EU. Now it seems that the arts are more at risk than ever.

“Eric Idle in the Monty Python team was saying that the more serious and bleak times are, the sillier the humour has to be.

You don’t necessarily have to have humour that’s sharp and biting and satirical, because you’re living in a time that’s ugly anyway.

To have something that’s silly and goofy and you can forget whatever’s happening, that’s good. It’s just the kind of way of getting away from it.”

As the winter drags on and it seems as though there’s nothing on the telly but old men yelling at each other, it is surprisingly refreshing to see two old men yell at each other. Sick and tired of politics, an evening with their circus elf duo was enough to make the whole room forget it all.

 “Our first show was called Komedy of Errors. Then we did a follow-up show called Funny Business,” Ben tells me, happily recalling his portfolio.

“We have a dance at the beginning and it starts off really well, we’ve both got a hat and a cane. Then he’s swinging the cane and it’s nearly missing me, and then he gets the hook of his cane stuck in my trousers.”

If only our politicians were as civilised as these elves.