Girl online and hitch get acquainted

Girl online and hitch get acquainted

Girl online and hitch get acquainted

Le festival international du cirque de monte-carlo 2019 1040

Cirque Berserk Founder and Producer Martin 'Zippo' Burton

Martin came to fame as Zippo the Clown and as the man who started the famous and much-loved Zippo’s Circus, which he still runs – but he never intended to spend his life under the big top. ‘I’m the archetypal “ran away and joined the circus” guy’, he says. ‘I worked in a mime act in various theatres in a show whose star was David Bowie. I promised my mum and dad that I’d get it out of my system and then go back home. I was 19 years old at that time; now, 40 years later, I’m still in the circus!’

As founder and director of Zippo’s Circus, you’d imagine Martin might want to rest on his laurels. Perhaps the restlessness that led him into the circus in the first place has become the driving force that now makes him steer parallel paths as the man behind that original traditional-style show and now also the contemporary ‘made-for-theatre’ Cirque Berserk that’s become such a sensation across Britain.

‘I spend a lot of my time travelling, searching for performers like these’, he says. ‘They’re the best in the business. It’s hard work, but it’s a dream job. It’s a lovely, amazing show. The performers are super-human, they often do two shows a day and then, when they’re not performing, you’ll find them training.

‘What the Cirque Berserk team have created together is real circus made for theatre,’ says Martin. ‘It’s put together in a very contemporary, very 21st-century way. The lighting, music, the costumes are entirely different from what you’re used to.

‘We do this, the performers, the creatives, myself, because all of us are Berserkus!’

Head of Brand Development Beau Denning
Creative Director Julius Green
Movement Director Dede McGarrity
Set Design Sean Cavanagh

Sean Trained under Ralph Koltai at the Central School of Art and Design and then at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  He is a long standing Artistic Associate and director of the York based Riding Lights Theatre Company.

Sean’s first professional design work was Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters for the York Theatre Royal in 1973.  Since then his extensive career of over 500 productions, both in the UK and abroad, has included major US and European tours of The Rat Pack – live from Las Vegas, The Opera Show and Dancing in the Streets, the world premiere (in Singapore) of Judah Ben Hur – the Musical, Pickwick for the Hungarian National Theatre, Edward III for the Taormina Festival, David Oyelowo’s production of The White Devil and major community theatre projects such as the Chester Cycle of Mystery Plays  and  the acclaimed 2012 production of The York Mystery Plays.  Other designs have included the UK premieres of Shishir Kurup’s Merchant of Vembley and Bram Stoker’s The Mummy; the musicals The Little Shop of Horrors, Crazy for You, Luv Esther and The Prodigals; multimedia events such as The Rock in San Francisco and Rock Me Amadeus in Vienna, and Who Do You Say I Am?  for the BBC.  Major UK tours have included M. Butterfly, Outside Edge, The Sound of Fury, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Winter’s Tale, Salaam Bethlehem, African Snow (commissioned to celebrate the Bicentennial of the 1807 Act to Abolish the Trade in Slaves),  Origins and Lemons, Monsieur de Coubertin’s Magnificent Opymlic Feat, Visiting Mr. Green, Dancing in the Streets, The Handyman, the children’s show Igam Ogam and the ecology satire Baked Alaska.

Current UK tours include the hit musicals  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Rat Pack – live from Las Vegas.  Forthcoming projects include Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Bangkok and The Trial of Jane Fonda in London.

West End credits include The Tempest, The Mikado, The Aspern Papers, Sherlock Holmes – The Musical, Of Mice and Men, Treasure Island, When Did You Last See Your Trousers?,  Never the Sinner, The Miracle Worker, In Praise of Love, The Roy Orbison Story, Stepping Out – The Musical, The Fire Raisers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas, Dancing in the Streets, African Snow, Visiting Mr Green and most recently Dreamboats and Petticoats.

Lighting Design Mike Robertson

A Guildhall graduate and an Olivier Award winner, Mike’s work takes him all over the world designing lighting for plays, musicals, operas and concerts, together with events, architecture and special projects. His UK theatre work includes numerous productions in the West End, on tour and in regional rep.  His lighting has also appeared in France, Monaco, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong, Macau, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cuba and the USA. Recent theatre work includes classics When We Were Women, Great Expectations and Toast and new plays The Odyssey – Missing Presumed Dead, Go See, Propaganda Swing and the European Premier of The Perfect Life in the latest Norwegian Arts Complex Kilden.


Other theatre work includes; an Olivier Award for Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory and Wyndhams Theatre) and a What’s On Stage Design award nominee for On The Waterfront (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Recent credits include The Odyssey (Everyman/Tour) Gods & Monsters (Southwark); Fascinating Aida (London and Tours), Art & Det Perfekte Liv (Norway), Rent (Bridewell), The Witches, Great Expectations and James and the Giant Peach (Dundee Rep); Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well (Charing Cross); Go See (Kings Head); Propaganda Swing (Nottingham/Coventry), Toast (Park/Tour/Broadway), Joe Stilgoe, Songs On Film (Edinburgh), Songs For A New World (Guildford), 1001 Nights (Saudi Arabia), The Dead Wait (Park Theatre), Keeler (Charing Cross Theatre), Piano Piano (Cottiers), Hairspray (Kuala Lumpur/Singapore), Volcano (Vaudeville Theatre and UK Tour), Funny Peculiar (UK Tour), Dry Rot (UK Tour), The Billie Holiday Story (Charing Cross Theatre), Parade (Old Vic Tunnels), Gibraltar (Arcola Theatre), Fragile (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Dear World (Charing Cross Theatre), The Father (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Murder on the Nile (UK Tour), Verdict (UK Tour), Larkrise to Candleford (UK Tour), Riccardo Primo (Royal College of Music), The Producers (Arts Ed), Six Actors in Search of a Director (Charing Cross Theatre, Directed by Steven Berkoff), Death & Gardening (UK Tour, Edinburgh Festival), Oedipus (Nottingham Playhouse and Edinburgh Festival), Third Floor (Trafalgar Studios), Company (Southwark Playhouse), Billy Liar (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Cabaret (Wilton’s Music Hall), Guys & Dolls (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Educating Rita (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Wolfboy (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh), New Boy (Trafalgar Studios), Hair (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Too Close to the Sun (Comedy Theatre), My Fair Lady (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Anything Goes (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Five Guys Named Moe (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Sunday in the Park With George (Menier Chocolate Factory and Wyndhams Theatre), Othello  (Birmingham Stage Company), Sit and Shiver directed by Steven Berkoff (Hackney Empire), Deathtrap (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Seesaw (Arts Ed), The Spring Proms (Royal Albert Hall), The Glee Club (Bolton Octagon and Cochrane Theatre) and The Wood Demon (Playhouse Theatre).

Sound Design Matthew Bugg
Costume Design Dianne Kelly
Inspirational PR Julia Knight, Freerange Communications

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