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Taking aim . . . Charlie Atlas throws a knife at wife Rachel in their new show, "Love Hurts". PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Public demand is luring circus cabaret performers Rachel and Charlie Atlas back to Oamaru.

The couple appeared at the Penguin Club a year ago in a touring act called “Death Do Us Part Danger Show”.

On February 8, they will return to present “Love Hurts”.

Mrs Atlas, speaking to the Oamaru Mail by phone from Britain, said she and her troupe loved the Penguin Club and appreciated how well its personnel had looked after them.

“It’s little, but of everywhere we appeared, it’s one of our favourites.

“Because it’s a small venue, we’re not coming there for the money, but for the love.”

They also appreciated Oamaru’s quirkiness, with its steampunk and arts presence.

“There’s nothing like it. It’s unique.”

Since leaving New Zealand, the troupe has performed in big tops in France and at other places in that country, Germany and the Netherlands.

“It’s been a crazy year,” Mrs Atlas said.

“We ummed and aahed about doing another New Zealand tour so soon. We put out feelers. The Facebook response from New Zealand was more than anywhere else. Seriously, the love is ridiculous.

“Those people have not let us down and we won’t let them down.”

One elderly woman who went to the Palmerston North show said it was the best night of her entire life, Mrs Atlas said.

The Atlases have taught themselves sword-swallowing and knife-throwing, interweaving those skills with comedy and burlesque. Many people in their audiences, especially in the smaller centres, had not experienced its ilk.

“We had an effect on their lives and they had an effect on our lives.”

Because this year’s tour takes place around Valentine’s Day, its theme is love, hence its title.

Mrs Atlas said she gets a lot of comments about the trust she and her husband must have in their marriage, to make the knife-throwing a success.

There will be “a few old favourites” in the show, along with “brand new acts, new costumes and gimmicks”.

Tickets cost $15, available at the door from 7.30pm on the night. The show starts at 8pm.