HEAVY metal meets fright night as the Circus of Horrors explodes on to the stage in Clacton next week.

The cult cabaret has been astounding fans for more than 20 years with its unique brand of eye-popping, gore-fest entertainment.

It's a blend of stomach-churning stunts, dark magic and twisted humour, set to a high-octane rock soundtrack.

This year, flamboyant ringmaster Dr Haze has devised a brand new show called Voodoo VaudEvil.

He has showbiz running through his blood after being born and bred in the circus.

After taking time out to have a stab at rock stardom he returned to combine circus with music.

Circus of Horrors was born kicking and screaming at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength, sharing festival billings with the likes of Alice Cooper, Oasis, Iron Maiden, The Manic Street Preachers and the Foo Fighters.

Last year's Never-ending Nightmare treated audiences to fire-eaters, astonishing contortionists, an eye-watering sword swallower and acrobatic skeletons.

At least two characters were sawn in half and at one point an army of killer clowns swarmed over the audience.

There was also a camp Count Dracula and some very scantily-clad ladies.

This year the killer clowns are reported to have been killed off ... for being too scary.

Ringleader Relik's last show was on Halloween and he is due to pick up his first dole cheque this week.

But the show still promises two hours of pure edge-of-the seat entertainment.

Dr Haze said: "The fear factor is something people get over very quickly and they come out really excited about what they have seen."

The show contains some nudity, language of an adult nature and is not suitable for children ... or people of a nervous disposition.

Circus of Horrors is at the Princes Theatre next Thursday***NOV16*** at 7.30pm. Tickets are £25 (£21 concessions) from the box office on 01255 686633.