Shock, horror! Scary circus in Falkirk to mark 25 years of terrific, tantalising terror

Falkirk has been the scene of many a horror show in recent years – not just on the football pitch – and the performers who have thrilled and chilled us for the last quarter of a century are back again next month.

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 Tarantino – 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.

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 talent like Lenny Henry, Gordon Ramsay, Yvette Fielding and both 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 – after prolonged exposure to the annual themed tours and shows which have haunted the town, including The Ventriloquist (2011 to 2012), London After Midnight (2013 to 2014) and Welcome to Carnevil (2015 to 2016). The circus hits the FTH stage at 7.30pm.

Visit www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org for more information.