Fortune favours the bold, as the saying goes, and those who braved The Circus of Horrors: Apocalypse in the Asylum were rewarded with a spectacular show.
One of The Beck's more unusual productions, the show kicked off with a warning for those of a nervous disposition: prepare to be disturbed!
As the auditorium was plunged into pitch darkness, Doktor Haze, the show's 'undead' ringmaster, appeared clad in leather and a long black overcoat to introduce his beloved band of misfits, who performed a series of breathtaking stunts.
The first half relates the story of Haze purchasing a seemingly beautiful stately home on the outskirts of Paris - but it soon comes to light that he has been tricked into buying a lunatic asylum!
Some of the inmates proved far more extreme than others. Hannibal Helmerto boasts elongated ear lobes, floating ribs, a forked tongue and 40,000-year-old Mammoth ivory for teeth. He defied gravity by slipping a hook through his septum and using it to lift a plank of wood, before inserting steel pins through his nose and cheeks - an eye-watering display that made the audience wince!
Meanwhile, the unbelievably bendy Kiros and Zavialova wowed the crowd by twisting and contorting their bodies so much they would make a Curly Wurly look straight. Kiros, who hails from Ethiopia, was particularly exciting to watch, especially when he managed to fit his entire body through a tiny tennis racket!
Less shocking acts provided lighter entertainment in between the major attractions, including a dwarf by the name of Professor Daniel Von Henry, who, sadly, failed to impress. His rather uninspiring tricks, such as opening a bottle of beer with his eye-lid or attaching a vacuum cleaner to his genitalia, looked painful but generated little audience reaction. At one point he tipped a potty full of what I still hope was water over the front row - luckily, most seemed to be prepared with waterproofs!
More amusing was Attila the Killer, the estate agent responsible for selling Haze the asylum. Most of his jokes are unsuitable to relate here, although he did ask two women if they were sisters, before saying it was a shame Cinderella hadn't been able to make it!
The lunatics take over the asylum with an explosion of colour and fire in the second half, when the real stars of the freak show come out in full force.
One of the most renowned anomalies is Gary 'Stretch' Turner, who is officially the stretchiest man alive, according to Guinness World Records. Famed for placing an amazing 170 clothes pegs on his face, Stretch made the audience squeal and squirm as he tugged at his body, even pulling the skin from his neck over his chin!
But the unsung heroes of the Circus have to be The Interceptors, Doktor Haze's rock 'n' roll band, who accompany the show throughout. Guitarist Bob Malkowski, who played his instrument upside down, was particularly impressive.
The finale saw Haze showing off his world-famous fire-eating skills, proving his mettle as king of the freaks, despite appearing a little long in the tooth. The daredevils at this show definitely did not disappoint and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the show to anyone - as long as they have a strong stomach!