A touring circus cabaret act called Death Do Us Part Danger Show will appear at the Penguin Club next month.
Perhaps even more terrifying than the knife-throwing and sword-swallowing is the fact that the performers are “entirely self-taught.”
Husband and wife Charlie and Rachel Atlas have teamed up with David Eriksson from Sweden, whose stage name is Baldwithballs, and Australian Jacqueline Furey, who was the youngest person to headline her home country’s Burlesque festival.
Mrs Atlas told the Oamaru Mail she and her husband had not attended circus school, but wanted to develop more acts to boost a show they were already presenting.
So she figured out how to become a sword-swallower while her husband perfected his knife-throwing skills.
Now, the Atlas’s touring show is visiting the Penguin Club on February 19.
Eriksson, a trained trapeze artist, adds juggling and balancing exploits, while Furey contributes fire-eating and sword-balancing.
“The thing we want people to realise is that it’s almost like a comedy show,” Mrs Atlas said.
“We’re all aware of how ridiculous most of our stuff is.
“We like to involve the audience.
“I always say at the beginning of each show, and I mean it 100%, the most important people in the show are not the performers, they’re the people in the audience.
“We encourage them to be as demonstrative as they want.”
The troupe, which has entertained audiences all over the world, has found New Zealanders appreciative but sometimes quite reserved in showing it, she said.