Opening this year’s CircusFest, Pirates of the Carabina’s Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine offers gentle delights at the Roundhouse.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the sensuous experience of watching a circus show, and how reviews – coming generally from a theatrical tradition – usually privilege the conceptual meaning of a production over the sensational meanings written through our physiological responses. This is an attempt not to do that!
Each critic will see a minimum of 15 performances within their specialist area, and their responses may include traditional written reviews, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, tweets and visual responses. Last year, over 400 reviews were produced by 19 participating critics, as well as additional social media content and reportage.
When it comes down to it, children are pretty shit at most stuff. As adults, especially as relatives, we sit through their talent shows, their sports games or their music recitals as they scratch away at the violin, miss an open goal or belt out Ariana Grande (even though the backing track is for a Taylor Swift song).
Originally from Quebec, Flip FabriQue deliver Attrape Moi; meaning Catch Me; in London as part of an international tour to Tenerife, Edinburgh, the USA and Quebec Canada. For seventy-five minutes, performers Christophe Hamel, Bruno Gagnon, Hugo Ouellet Côté, Jérémie Arsenault, Camila Comin and Yann Leblanc, showcase a range of skills that are, (if a little tenuously at times), threaded together by a loose theme of travelling with friends.
Last time I saw circus mixed with flapper era razzle-dazzle and golden-age Hollywood themes, it was in the Broadway musical debut of Cirque Du Soleil, Paramour. Now, Gostinitsa – the outstanding new show from Moscow State Circus – takes the same glamorous aesthetic but eschews attempts at plot, setting its high-skill acts within the comings and goings of a fantasy hotel.
Short and sweet, this half hour lunchtime show feeds feisty and giggly kiddies with a banquet of characters performing a range of tricks. A bearded ring master charms a female acrobat snake out of a trunk, and two musicians run around in monkey and pyjama costumes as their underage audience scream and shout at them.
It’s Not Yet Midnight is devised to highlight the success of collaboration and the danger of trying to accomplish everything solo. Working together, the acrobats build towers four people tall; they somersault and flip and vault high into the air knowing that their fellow performers are waiting to catch them as they fall back down to earth.
- Page 1 of 2