REVIEW: Circus Horrificus for MICF

Running away to join the circus just got dangerous – and hilarious

By Myron My

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is upon us and it is preview night for Circus Horrificus It’s A Western. There is a sense of excitement and nerves as I take my seat: extreme physical circus acts is what has been promised, and boy, do these guys deliver.

Circus Horrificus

Unfortunately, the beginning of the show where we are introduced to Samora Squid and Bridget Bridge overstayed its welcome. Too much slapstick and I found the screeching and growling at each other rather irritating. I wasn’t amazed by anything and my interest was not piqued. It seemed that just when you thought it was going to go somewhere – it didn’t. Even the music in the background was distracting.

Once these two performers got over this initial hurdle however, they not only took it to the next level but smashed through it. Their energy heightened, their interaction got stronger and even the music was more harmonious with the action. There were many moments where the audience was equally mesmerised, horrified, cringing and cheering. It’s been a while since I have felt all these emotions at the same time and it really wreaks havoc with the your body – but this was nothing compared to what Squid and Bridge were enduring physically.

There were numerous times I wanted to clap but all I could do was watch in disbelief in the various acts they performed. I would love to be specific about what these two artists do but I really think half the fun is watching without foreknowledge the crazy antics they get up to – although I will note that fireworks get up close and personal in places they should never be near…

The way Squid and Bridge present themselves, the costumes and the props they use all give off the authentic flavour of a real circus sideshow act. It’s no surprise that they would choose to perform at the newly relocated Butterfly Club, itself being eponymous with the kitsch and carnivale.

Despite its rocky opening, Circus Horrificus’ Squid and Bridge do win the audience over with their crazy cheekiness and it’s always great to see something that definitely isn’t your standard stand-up comedian in this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St(entry via Carson Place), Melbourne

Season: Until 21 March | Tues-Wed, Sun 9:30pm

Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Concession

Bookings: or 9690 2000