Royal Festival Hall, London – until 16 August 2017, then touring
This rather sombre circus show looks at immigration and the reasons behind it as well as why we should all come together and support each other.
There is no denying the strength, the ability and the extraordinary balance that all of the performers in Limits have. It is more of a case that it hasn’t been presented in the most fluent of ways.
This was my overriding feeling as I left the Royal Festival Hall after watching this surprisingly understated performance, filled with fantastic juggling skills and trampolining sequences and even a fascinating way in which to solve a Rubix cube (no spoilers here!). But the overall presentation felt stilted and lacking in energy in places – particularly in the first half, which takes a while to build up.
But there is no denying that the story behind the show is thought provoking on immigration and the borders that are gradually being placed up between countries. It is a refreshing way to explore the topic and is extremely creative in the tricks it uses in the performance, enhanced by a variety of statistics that jump out at the audience making you stop and re-evaluate what you thought you knew about refugees.
In terms of highlights, Sarah Lett whether it is acrobatics, using the silks or the cyr wheel has great poise and control over her performance and is particularly mesmerising to watch. The trampoline section is another highlight of the first half, while the use of the see saw features some strong tricks and spins.
But it just feels lacking in energy and pace that you come to expect from a circus show, there doesn’t seem to be that ‘wow’ moment when a trick is performed and so can make the performance feel relatively flat. This is perhaps down to the length of the performance as two hours is a long time to watch a number of different elements of the circus come together fluently and really ends on a sombre note.
It is a real shame in a sense as the performers and the concept for the production is strong, it is just the overall way in which it has been presented that lets the show down slightly.
Cirkus Cirkör: Limits is on at the Southbank Centre until the 16th August.