A mix of thrills: Cirque du Vulgar mixes the spectacular with the erotic to eyecatching effect Pictures: Evelyn Gascoyne

Roll up, roll up – the circus is in town and all your favourite acts are here!! GASP at the dominatrix on the high wire! MARVEL at the magician and his beautiful prostitute assistant! GUFFAW AT ‘the only gay in the circus’ performing a tea-bagging gag on an unsuspecting member of the audience…

OK, so Cirque du Vulgar is not quite your average circus, certainly not one for the kids and perhaps the last thing you’d expect to find in a big top in Falmouth in the heart of the holiday season. But trust me – it is a compelling and hilarious theatrical experience.

In the flesh: Acrobatics impress as much as the saucy presentation

I wasn’t at all sure at first. My friend and I were shown to our ringside table by a scantily-clad bunny girl and given casino-style tokens for the bar by a French mademoiselle.

Then I glanced at the running order they had handed me at the door. The second act caught my eye: “Comedy magic, Frank and Beans assisted by Prostitute (magic table, dildo, rabbit with penis).”

What had we let ourselves in for? Some kind of porn circus? And what the hell might audience participation entail? Belinda, a passing girl dressed in a skimpy sailor outfit, reassured me it was all tongue-in-cheek, flirty and fun. Mmm, OK, I thought, biting my nails.

The lights went down and the breathless, risqué fun began. And boy it was fun. A dominatrix on a long rope swing with no safety net, a hilarious magic act, bunny girls on poles, an extraordinary fire-breather called Beans. By the time more fire licked menacingly around the world ‘Interval’, the tent was buzzing and we were all craving more.

As a full bathtub was wheeled into the ring, our minds raced once more. Well, without giving too much away, the act involved a French maid, high aerial straps and a lot of wetness.

I don’t want to spoil all the many surprises this show has in store, but let’s just say that the second half also featured nipple tassles, a wheel of death and a lot of confetti.

Glamour: Cirque du Vulgar is a visual feast

The show is two-and-a-half hours but passed in no time at all. Talented acrobats and performers enthralled an entire audience for an evening with a well-balanced act of the sexy, the tongue-in-cheek and the hilarious. Cirque du Vulgar is a truly titillating (pun intended) experience.

Try to catch one of their forthcoming shows in the region if you can.

In the meantime, if anybody needs me, I’ll be running away with the circus – I’m not sure I can wait much longer before I have another dose of Vulgar.


  • 22nd September – Pool Market. Redruth
  • 29th September – Circus Field. Opposite Kings Hill Industrial Estate. Bude
  • 6th October – Victoria Park. Bideford

You can buy tickets here.