BIG top acts which even stopped trendy television presenters in their tracks took to a North-East stage this week.

The Circus of Horrors, with its stunning array of bizarre performers, opened at Sunderland Empire, where it will run until Saturday.

The show was previewed on Channel 4's Big Breakfast and some of the acts - such as Wasp Boy who despite a 16in waist can swallow five swords simultaneously - shocked the early morning presenters.

It was two years ago that the Circus of Horrors made its debut and its "undead ringmaster" Dr Haze has brought back his talented troop in a new production.

Acts include trapeze artists suspended from their hair, tatooed ladies squeezing themselves into tiny bottles and amazing contortionists.

The Circus of Horrors is based around a story beginning in Victorian Times and moving on to the year 2020.

Described as an "out of this world experience" the show had rave reviews the last time round, and looks set to attract big audiences in the North East this week.

The cast promises a show like no other you have ever seen before.

Anyone wanting tickets should contact 0191-510 0545.