Going Cirque Berserk at Winter Wonderland 2012

Winter Wonderland’s preview night is, without question, one of the hottest tickets in town. I absolutely love it. I love the atmosphere, the circus, the sizzling German sausage stalls, the over-the-top rides, the Christmas paraphernalia everywhere you turn, the shopping opportunities, that massive wheel, the Carousel Bar, the emphasis on indulgent alcohol (we’re talking mulled wine, hot cider, Jägermeister and firebomb shots – whatever the heck they are) – and the celebrities. Last year, I met Matt Cardle. This year Rod Stewart was in attendance. Yes, Rod freakin’ Stewart. The ultimate celeb spot. There he was, in his peacoat, with Penny and the kids. His hair is enormous. I had to restrain myself from singing Maggie May at him Vic Reeves-stylee.

Also in the house, Carrie and David out of Carrie and David’s Pop Shop. Sadly, El doesn’t remember that show. Sadly, I do.

Celeb stalking aside, we had a wonderful, if windswept time. And here are the highlights…

Ol‘ St. Nick was there to greet us within minutes of arriving

The stage is set for a brilliant night

Yes, please – all of the above

The wheel, majestic as ever, was closed due to high winds – I was pretty relieved as I didn’t fancy rocking in a pod in the midst of a gale force gust

As you can see, I dressed appropriately for the occasion in some mental ensemble

Would you believe I rescued that faux fur jacket from the charity shop bag – what was I thinking??

It wouldn’t be Winter Wonderland without a Bratwurst (and chips) – I had currywurst and felt a bit peculiar afterwards (in kind of a good way)

After stuffing your face with sausage, you need a good ride

The carousels are beautiful
As are the sweet stalls
The heart messages always appeal to me

And if you love chocolate…
There are plenty of non-sweetie gifts to buy too

Or you could try to win a teddy at one of the many prize stalls

El goes for it in the “Toy Factory” fun house – as ever, there are rides for all ages

But the highlight of our evening? Zippo‘s “Cirque Berserk”

Eight year old boys can only be wildly impressed by motorbikes in circular cages

I was impressed by the spooky, operatic staging and the gothy-rocky soundtrack
It’s amazing how cool a circus can be when you add a bit of an edge to it

Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Cirque Berserk is a new show and it’s the best one I’ve seen from Zippo’s
As well as the dark, gothic overtones, there are some brilliant daredevil stunts

And all those classic circus feats too – Cirque Berserk is the evening show at Winter Wonderland – and you can even hire a VIP box with champagne

The only bad thing about Winter Wonderland is that it has to come to an end – we’ll be back!

With thanks to Winter Wonderland

Written by Johanna Payton