By Dominique Jando
Collin Eschenburg and Matthias Fisher were born in East-Berlin, at the time Germany was split between the Federal Repulic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). When they were 15 and 19 respectively, Collin and Matthias enrolled in Berlin's State Circus School. There, they were trained in all basic circus disciplines, including acrobatics, juggling, ballet, and trapeze.
After graduation in 1986, they embarked on a two-year tour of the USSR with the East-German Circus Busch, and they used that time to develop their comedy routines. Back in their homeland, the Collins Brothers appeared with their comedy acts in various varieté(German, from the French: ''variété'') A German variety show whose acts are mostly circus acts, performed in a cabaret atmosphere. Very popular in Germany before WWII, Varieté shows have experienced a renaissance since the 1980s. theaters and television shows. Then, in 1990, they suddenly found themselves in a wall-free Berlin, and in a country where West and East didn't mean anything anymore.
In a bold move, they immediately presented their trapeze act—which was only one of their numerous comedy routines—to the selection committee of the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, and were accepted right away. They were the first East-German act to participate in the competition! To the public and the professionals gathered under Monaco's big topThe circus tent. America: The main tent of a traveling circus, where the show is performed, as opposed to the other tops. (French, Russian: Chapiteau) in Janauary 1991, their hilarious (and technically remarkable) act was also an instant sensation: They received the Organ Show-Business award and, more importantly, numerous international contracts.
The Collins Brothers have since worked extensively in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia. Among many other prestigious venues, they have been featured at Circus Kronebau in Munich; the WinterGarten Varieté Theater in Berlin; Circus Flic-Flac in Germany; the 1994 production of Cirque du Soleil at Circus Knie in Switzerland; the Big Apple Circus and Teatro ZinZanni in the United States; Palazzo Varieté in Germany and Austria; and the Millenium Show at the Casino Palladium in Mallorca, Spain, in 1999. They have appeared in several television shows in Europe, and were awarded the Comedy Prize at the ARD Television's Traumtänzer Festival in 2006.
- Video: The Collins Brothers, Comedy Trapeze Act, in the Big Apple Circus production of Carnevale in Venice (1993)
- Video: The Collins Brothers, Comedy Magic Act, at Berlin's WinterGarten (2008)
- Video: The Collins Brothers, Comedy Trapeze Act, at the Palazzo (2009)