Centrefold: Don't try this at home, folks

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Pre-Broadway, post-Hollywood, the Flying Karamazov Brothers (Dmitri, Ivan, Serdykov and Rakitin) are in London to bring their unusual variety of street clowning, juggling and gaucho hairstyles to the West End in Juggle and Hyde. The theme for the show is enclosed space or, to be more precise, cardboard boxes, fleshed out by some strange behaviour with household implements.

'Since the objects they juggle include vials of nitric acid, weedkiller and sugar, as well as electric carving knives, chainsaws and power tools,' says their agent, 'there's every chance their presentation could come to a nasty end.' Given the likelihood of a Jack Danger-style resume, the chainsaws may be left at home as Westminster City Council is getting worried about safety.

You might have caught the Karamazovs in Jewel of the Nile, dressed as dervishes, whirling fire and forcing Danny DeVito to walk across hot coals. It was here, jumping off rooftops with stuntmen, that they got into cardboard. 'Boxes are fascinating,' Paul Magid, who plays Dmitri, says. 'So we developed a whole show of cardboard boxes. It's all about emptiness and space. And silliness.'

Amid jazz-juggling and Kenny Everett-style ballet (tutu below the waist, hairy chest above), the act that has really grabbed attention is 'The Gamble'. Here, Howard has to juggle pretty much anything the audience has brought in, within certain limits: 'It mustn't be alive, it should be lighter than 10lbs and no bigger than a bread box.'

In the past this has meant a bag of dead frogs, a dildo wrapped in a pizza, a trombone, slimy fishes, an octopus, buckets of squid, cakes and breast implants. Mostly, Howard manages it, though he's reported to have had some difficulty with a budgie cage (without the budgie).

'Juggle and Hyde' with the Flying Karamazov Brothers is at the Criterion Theatre from tonight to 3 Sept. Booking: (071-839 4488)

(Photograph omitted)

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